19 April 2017

Somalia: Starved Somalis Evicted From Urban Areas

Mogadishu — RIGHTS groups have slammed the eviction of thousands of Somalis from urban areas where they have sought refuge from famine and terror. Daily, locals are fleeing to the towns that are under government's control. International assistance is more accessible than in the rural settings where there are security restrictions posed by the Al-Shabaab Islamist group. According to the United Nations, some 500 000 Somalis have fled their homes in the last five months because of the drought that has left half of Somalia's 12 million people needing assistance. Over 400 000 that fled are in the capital Mogadishu, with recent arrivals also from Kenya's Dadaab refugee centre that authorities are planning to close. However, since November, 60 000 people have been evicted from the urban camps they have sought refuge in the major city. A significant number has been forced out to more dangerous places on the outskirts of Mogadishu, where shelter is scarce and access to aid a challenge. Access to sanitation is also a problem, resulting in outbreaks of water-borne diseases. Somalia's new government has been challenged to stop the forced evictions. "No one should be evicted without due process. Government needs to make sure that basic security and assistance are provided to areas people move to," said Human Rights Watch's Laetitia Bader. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed's government, elected in February, said it was averting famine and dealing with resultant crises. - CAJ News

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