Somalia: Anger After Somalis ‘Deported’ From Somaliland

Somalia’s northern region of Somaliland has sparked controversy by expelling people from the south, even though Mogadishu considers it part of its territory.

On Saturday, hundreds of people from Las Anod town arrived in Burtinle, Puntland, a Somalia federal member state that borders Somaliland.

They were reportedly identified as originating from southern Somalia and were rounded up, taken to a stadium and ordered to board trucks.

On Sunday, Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, on a visit to Barawe, the capital of South West state, 200km south of Mogadishu, expressed displeasure at the news that hundreds of Somalis were expelled from Somaliland.

No notice

The expulsion, which affected all sorts of people including women, children, the elderly and business people, was executed without notice.

Somaliland authorities in Las Anod reportedly associated the people from southern Somalia with increasing insecurity in the town.

PM Roble said the ‘deportation’ amounted to mistreatment of people in their own land.

“Expelling Somalis from a Somali territory is shameful, ugly and dishonouring,” he said.

“Ordering people who have been peacefully trading to leave for simply originally coming from the southern regions is unfortunate and will be recorded by history.”

Also on Sunday, Somalia’s Minister of Justice Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur in Mogadishu called the expulsion deplorable.

Minister Nur said that the expulsion is a new phenomenon that undermines intra-Somali fraternity and commonly held customs.

“It is unfortunate that a section of the inhabitants who were peacefully trading, some of whom were detached from their businesses and houses, is specifically targeted,” said Nur.