International Community condemn forced IDP evictions in Mogadishu, call for a probe

Millions of USD worth of basic health, education and livelihood infrastructure paid by international donors was destroyed.

FILE PHOTO: IRIN

The international community has condemned the forced evictions of internally displaced people in Mogadishu and called for investigations into the evictions which it termed as ‘disturbing’.

In a letter addressed to Mogadishu Mayor Mohamed Thabit seen by Goobjoog News, the EU and 17 countries said the evictions ran counter to efforts at relieving the humanitarian crisis the country is already steeped in and subjected vulnerable people to more dangerous precarious situations.

“The conditions under which these forced evictions took place are disturbing,” the letter read. At least 2 children are reported to have since died as a result; those evicted did not have the time to collect their property and belongings; no adequate alternative shelter was made available; millions of USD worth of basic health, education and livelihood infrastructure paid by international donors was destroyed.”

FORCED EVICTIONS

More than 4,000 families or 24,000 individuals were forcefully evicted from 21 settlements in Mogadishu’s KM13 area between December 29 and 30 following a land ownership row. Mogadishu mayor Thabit pledged to resettle the IDPs but Goobjoog News has established the displaced families are still staying in makeshift structures outside the camp.

“These evictions,” the joint statement reads, “Have rendered thousands of already vulnerable people even more vulnerable and at greater risk, amongst them women, children, disabled and elderly, who came to Mogadishu seeking a better life after escaping drought and conflict at home.”

TRANSPARENT INVESTIGATIONS

The International Community (IC) also warned the evictions violates the dignity and human rights of those affected in addition to breaching domestic and international law.

“We therefore call on the Federal Government of Somalia and the Benadir Regional Administration to conduct a full and transparent investigation into how these evictions took place. As donors funding essential services and infrastructure, we would like to be kept fully informed about investigations, and we stand ready to extend our support in this task.”

Mogadishu has an estimated 600,000 IDPs most of whom were displaced by droughts and conflicts. Last year’s drought which the UN warned could escalate into a famine displaced a million people, UN Humanitarian officer UNOCHA has said adding to another 1.1 million displaced as a result of conflicts and droughts including the 2011 famine which claimed an upwards of 250,000 lives.

GLOBAL SUPPORT
The UN last week warned the food crisis which plunged more than half of the country into hunger in 2017 was far from over calling for an addition $1.6 billion to cushion millions of Somalis from hunger in 2018.
UN Humanitarian Coordinator Peter de Clerq noted early this month it was unfortunate global efforts to provide help to vulnerable groups were being watered down by such evictions.

“I am equally concerned that when everyone is seized of the agenda of improving the lives of Somalis, humanitarian and development installations are being senselessly destroyed, including schools, latrines, water points, sanitation centres, shelters and other related investments generously supported by donors,” said de Clercq. “

The IC reiterated the humanitarian situation in 2018 is likely to be dire noting ‘available funds will be required to address urgent humanitarian needs, including food security, nutrition, health and water requirements.’

“Forced evictions and destruction of previous investments increase these requirements, at a time when efforts must be focused on more efficient and effective humanitarian action.”

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