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South West to airlift residents from Las Anod

Saturday October 9, 2021

BAIDOA (HOL) -  The South West State of Somalia has announced plans to airlift people stranded in Las Anod after being forcibly evicted from the city in the breakaway region of Somaliland's Sool region.

A high-level committee recently appointed by President Laftagareen arrived in Galkayo yesterday. They have planned to relocate people from the South West from Baidoa, the regional capital of Bay, for permanent resettlement.

South West State has said it is planning to airlift its people facing evictions from Somaliland a week after the first batch of evictees reached Puntland. The airlift will also plan to recover the properties of those who have already been forcibly evicted.

The South West State Government has sought support from representatives of UN agencies to assist in the rescue and relocation efforts of families forcibly displaced from their homes and monitor their living conditions.

On October 3, Somaliland forcibly deported hundreds of families from southern Somalia to Las Anod. Witnesses said they were uprooted at gunpoint abruptly, leaving behind property and valuables.

The South West Administration has made it clear that it is committed to supporting the stranded families.

The first lorries of the families forced to leave arrived in Puntland and Galmudug. Authorities say that close to 1000 people have since been temporarily resettled in Galkaayo by the Puntland government.

Although many still remain in those regions, some families have already been settled in different parts of south and central Somalia, including 100 families who arrived in Beledweyne on Thursday.

Authorities said that they arrived safely but at least one man who was displaced from Las Anod died from COVID-19 in Galkayo.

Somaliland has defended its decision, saying that it was a security operation carried out against 'foreign aliens' in response to a security threat. Police in the area said it had credible information that residents who originally hail from southern Somalia were behind several high-profile assassinations.

The Somali government and a cross-section of leaders have since condemned the forced evictions and called for an immediate end.

Somaliland declared independence from Somalia after the ouster of former strongman Siad Barre in 1991. While internationally recognized as a region of Somalia's Federal Republic, Somaliland is a de-facto nation with its own government, military and currency in areas it claims.


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