Two researchers from the Country Information Unit of the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) visited Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, on a fact-finding mission in the beginning of March.
Somalia has been one of the countries with the largest refugee presence in Finland since the late 1980s of the past century. Nowadays Somalis are one of the largest ethnic minorities in the country, with more than 20,000 members.
The mission report written by the immigration experts concludes that the security conditions in Mogadishu are still "unstable and unpredictable."
According to the immigration agency, the main actor creating instability in the area is "the Islamist terrorist organization al-Shabaab."
Although the Somali regime and security forces in principle are in control of the capital, al-Shabaab has a very strong position. Despite large-scale security arrangements, the organization is able to operate in all parts of the city and causes violent incidents almost on a daily basis.
Al-Shabaabs violent attacks are mainly directed at the Somali security forces, representatives of the Somali regime, actors supporting and cooperating with the regime, and international actors, such as the AMISOM troops and the UN. However, also civilians are constantly killed in attacks by the organization, Migri says.
"Difficult" humanitarian conditions
The Finnish Immigration Service also describes the humanitarian conditions in the capital area as "difficult."
According to the report, the most central problems have to do with rapidly fastening urbanization, urban poverty, unemployment and the lack of education and health services. There are also underlying health reasons for the problems: chronic cholera, diarrhoea and malnutrition.
Migri details that in this context the people in the weakest position in Mogadishu are internally displaced persons, who are forced to "settle in camps, where the living conditions are bare and difficult," the explains the report.
Clan structure of the capital
The purpose of the fact-finding mission was to gather information about the security situation and the humanitarian conditions in Mogadishu. During the mission, the researchers also inquired into the functioning of traffic connections from Mogadishu to the southern and central parts of the country and investigated the clan structure of the capital.
Migri´s Country Information Unit produces information about the countries from which asylum seekers, quota refugees and other immigrants come to Finland. The purpose of its missions is to produce information to support decision-making, particularly on applications for international protection.
The information gathered is also used when investigating residence permit matters and citizenship applications.
The previous fact-finding mission to Somalia took place in January 2018.