Wednesday October 13, 2021
Erigabo (HOL) - Traders in Erigabo have appealed to Somaliland authorities to give them more time to vacate the city.
The business people, who hail from parts of South West and Hirshabelle states and Banadir, were told by Somaliland authorities on October 6 that they had to be out of the city within 15 days.
Some traders said they were told to be out by October 24, giving them an extra three days from the original eviction notice.
Somaliland has threatened those who ignore the expulsion order with arrest and financial penalties.
One trader said that two weeks is not enough time to leave the lives that they've built in the city.
"I appeal to the Somaliland President to extend the deadline. Fourteen days is not enough to settle our affairs. We are owed money, and we also owe some people money. We have built homes here."
"The Somaliland authorities should allow us to leave with our dignity intact. Some of us have lived here for close to thirty years."
The traders said that they held no ill-will against the people of the city, who have welcomed them and have been gracious hosts.
Another trader suggested that the Somaliland government grant them a six-month extension. He said that many traders have debts that they have to track down and contracts that have to be filled.
The business community called on Somaliland authorities to grant clemency for vulnerable people who could not make the long journey from Erigabo to other parts of Somalia.
Earlier this month, Somaliland authorities forcibly expelled close to 3,000 people - South West and Hirshabelle states - from Las Anod. The Somaliland government said it was conducting lawful security operations against what it viewed as "illegal aliens."
Somalia's federal member states have collaborated with humanitarian agencies to resettle the evicted families to other parts of Somalia. This included airlifting hundreds of people from Galkayo to Baidoa and bussing close to 700 people to Hirshabelle.