Somalia forced evictions in significant rise – charity

Forced evictions in Somalia have risen significantly this year amid a construction boom in the Horn of Africa nation, the Norwegian Refugee Council has said.

Most evictions are done with little or no notice, in what the group called “unjust” and gross violation of human rights.

A building boom, especially in the capital Mogadishu, was behind the evictions, it said.

“Some [families] have been evicted multiple times, without due process. This is unjust, and violates their rights,” said Evelyn Aero, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) Adviser for Information, Counseling and Legal Assistance.

Most of those affected by the evictions are people who fled their homes due to drought and conflict in rural areas in south-central Somalia.

According to the Housing Land Property Sub-Cluster of Somalia, more than 200,000 people were evicted between January and July, this year, almost double the number dislodged over the same period in 2017.

The Norwegian Refugee Council called on the Somali government to develop policies and laws on land, improve access to land for displaced families, and strengthen protection for displaced persons.

In January, a consortium of Somali NGOs condemned what it called “forced evictions and large-scale destruction of settlements for Internally Displaced People (IDPs)” in and around Mogadishu.

Many diaspora Somalis are returning to their homeland, capitalising on the relative peace in the country to build new housing estates.

Farah Yussuf is a Digital Reporter with Star FM Kenya. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from Masinde Muliro University.

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