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|Somalis March Over Shut Hospital|
Mogadishu, May 19, 2004 (BBC Online) – Hundreds of women and children
have staged a protest in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, over the
closure of the city's only free hospital.
Protestors said the closure was putting the lives of thousands of
mothers and their children at risk.
It follows a dispute between a doctor and the family of a young woman
who he operated on.
The SOS hospital was shut after gunmen threatened the doctor who had
removed the woman's womb to save her life.
The woman's family demanded 50 camels, which is the traditional
Somali compensation offered for the death of a woman.
The woman's family say she is as good as dead because she can no
longer bear children.
"My husband has died. I'm the only one looking after my family, so
how can I pay medical charges?" asked one woman who took her sick
child to the hospital on Tuesday.
"I don't know how I can survive," said Osman Kerow, who had left his
pregnant wife at home and gone to see if the hospital was open.
He has come to Mogadishu to escape fighting between armed militias.
He lives by carrying goods for people in a wheelbarrow.
Somalia has had no central government since 1991 and is divided into
areas controlled by rival warlords.
Bashir Sheikh, the doctor who removed the woman's womb, says that he
had to do so in order to save her life, as she was carrying a dead
"I was waiting to be thanked", he said, "but, instead, I am receiving
The hospital authorities say they will not reopen while their staff
are under threat.
But according to the BBC's Mohamed Olad Hassan in Mogadishu, they are
optimistic that the hospital will reopen soon.
Mogadishu's traditional elders have made some progress in their
mediation between the woman's family and the hospital.
They announced on Wednesday that they would guarantee the security of
the hospital and the doctor who carried out the operation.
St. Cloud Tech Asks Parents to Volunteer, Ease Tensions
St. Cloud, May 18, 2004 (AP) – A St. Cloud high school is asking
parents to volunteer after a series of race-related incidents.
Technical High School Principal Roger Ziemann wants to have parents
greet students and be in the hallways and cafeteria.
School officials have worked to ease tensions and calm fears after
four recent incidents involving white and Somali students.
Ziemann says a number of meetings are planned to discuss the
School officials are meeting with Somali parents today and the
student council. The district's race-harmony committee meets