IDPs continue to be forced out of recently independent Somaliland
Nov 10, 2011
Internationally displaced persons (IDPs) in Somaliland have been under attack recently, after an October 25 government initiative to rid the nation of "illegal foreigners," IRIN reports.
Since Somaliland gained independence in September, government officials have had an agenda to remove all foreign workers from the country. On October 25 it was declared that any foreigners working in Somililand without permission from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs would be fired, urging employers to supply citizens with work instead.
After the ruling, IDPs, many from Ethiopia, have been faced with discrimination and attacks.
"We have recorded 23 cases of violations, mostly by security groups [young men hired by the community to provide protection services] in these camps," Abdillahi Hassan Digale, an official of the Ubah Social Welfare Organization, told the publication. "They ask for bribes from the migrants; if they don't pay up, they are threatened that the police will be notified of their presence in the country."
According to human rights organizations, nearly 45,000 of the estimated 90,000 IPDs have left the country, and those remaining are hiding in their homes, afraid of being deported.
The sudden changes may leave many without means to work in their own country, meaning they won't have access to food security, housing or clean water.