Somaliland continues raids and deportation of civilians, confiscation of properties in Las-Anod town

Somaliland police continues raids on civilian houses, arrests, forceful evictions of  of civilians and confiscation of properties owned by people who hail from Southern and central Somalia, a move many said is a collective punishment by Somaliland authorities.

According to witnesses and local journalists, more 750 people were inhumanely and with degrading situation arrested and expelled from the city. Many of those detained and deported were successful business owners in Las Anod town labourers and housewives targeted due to their ethnicity.

“I along with my wife and children were forcefully deported, we were not allowed to take our properties, so I better die than live like this.” A father who was deported from Las-Anod said after reaching Burtine town in Puntland, “I don’t a single penny to feed my children”

The ethnic profiling by the Somaliland police drew condemnation from both Somalia’s federal government, religious leaders and politicians who called the move “”a collective punishment”

“We have witnessed a shocking and embarrassing incident in Las Anod where hundreds of children, women, the elderly and businessmen have been deported without prior notice and were transported in trucks like animals” Prof. Mohamed Osman Jawaari, Somalia’s former speaker said, “The crackdown of the innocent people including women and children is a barbaric act”

Among them are children who said they were born in Las-Anod and have never been to Southern Somalia.

“I was very shocked to see Police raiding our home, even we did not take a single mattresses from our home, I don’t know where we are heading now, because I was born in Las-Anod and never been to Southern Somalia” A 14 year old boy who decline to give his name for security reasons said.

As of Sunday, Somaliland police also raided new neighborhoods such Dami, Shacabka & Goljanno in Las-Anod, where they arrested remaining ethnic groups.

In a statement, Somalia’s federal government condemned the move to deport Somalis who mainly hail from Bay, Bakool and Lower Shabelle regions.”The ongoing deportation of Somalis from Las Anod saddens me. The people of Las Anod have always had a tradition of hospitality and Somaliness. I hope they will preserve that good tradition, and the Somali people around them can feel safe,” said Somalia’s Information Minister Osman Dubbe.

The minister said the Somaliland authorities have violated cultural traditions, calling on Somali leaders to respect Somali cultural traditions.

Sool Regional Police Commander, Ahmed Abdillahi Abdi, said that Somaliland would not give people from Southern and central Somalia any special treatment as any other foreign group.

Many analysts worry that the deportation and confiscation of properties by the Somaliland authorities might likely effect the ethnic Somalilanders and their businesses in central and Southern Somalia.