Thousands of displaced persons who have taken refuge in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu are being forcibly evicted from makeshift camps as the government presses ahead with plans to clean up the city, Amnesty said in a briefing released Sept. 13. “It is completely unacceptable for people who have fled to the capital for protection to be forcibly evicted. It has resulted in large scale human rights abuses,” said Gemma Davies, Amnesty’s Somalia researcher. “The government has a responsibility to protect this vulnerable sector of society and ensure their security.” More than 300,000 live in settlements in Mogadishu, where they are sheltering from cyclical drought, famine and the two-decades-long armed conflict.
In January 2013 the Somali government announced a plan to relocate hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs) from Mogadishu to proposed camps outside the city to make way for reconstruction and development of the capital. But Amnesty protests that the area slated for relocation is not itself secured from violence. Preparation work at the chosen relocation area, Daynille, north of the city, is on hold because of security concerns—yet forced evictions have continued. In recent weeks, Amnesty International researchers in Mogadishu spoke with dozens of internally displaced people who had been evicted from their camps in central Mogadishu “without adequate notice and often by force.” Many of the evicted have rebuilt new improvised camps in the same area. (AI, Sept. 13)
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