*** DEBUG END ***

Somalian refugees evicted from temporary shelters without notice

19 January 2018


Refugee shelters on the outskirts of Mogadishu, which have been destroyed

Refugee shelters on the outskirts of Mogadishu, which have been destroyed

THOUSANDS of refugees who are fleeing drought and famine in Somalia have been forcibly evicted by armed security forces from their temporary shelters on the outskirts of the country’s capital, Mogadishu.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that eyewitness reports of the bulldozing of shelters and other accommodation, including schools, on the outskirts of Mogadishu, were of “deep concern”.

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Peter de Clercq, said: “I am deeply saddened to learn of evictions, without prior notice, of internally displaced persons, in Banadir region. Some of these displaced people have walked long distances from different parts of the country, fleeing drought and conflict. On 29 and 30 December, over 23 internally displaced persons’ [IDPs] settlements, housing over 4000 households, were destroyed.

“Personal property and livelihoods have also been lost as people were not given time to collect their belongings before the destruction started. Families, including children, women and the elderly are now living in the open.”

Much of the temporary infrastructure, which included sanitation, water points, schools, and latrines, had been paid for through foreign aid. Few of those who were evicted have found other shelter, and most of them are now reported to be living rough.

The UN and international NGOs have called on the Somali government to protect the rights of those who have been forced to flee their homes.

World Vision has denounced the violent actions of security forces. Its director of operations in Somalia, Simon Nyabwengi, said: “We are concerned that families were not provided with adequate notification and compensation; though viable relocation or local integration options are required by international law. We would like to urge the government of Somalia to respond to the ongoing situation, protect the communities impacted, and work with landowners and other actors to develop a plan that will promote and protect housing, land, and property rights of IDPs.”

Famine, conflict, and drought displaced one million people throughout Somalia last year alone, bringing the total number of IDPs in the country to two million. The UN reports that more than six million people in the country are in need of humanitarian assistance, and levels of malnutrition.

In 2015, similar large-scale destruction of such settlements took place in the same Kahda district, when more than 21,000 people were forcibly removed from their makeshift shacks.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events


Church Times Month

March 2024

For the whole of March, Church Times is offering completely FREE online access, so you can share stories without a paywall.

We are also asking our readers to spread the news of the Church Times among their friends, acquaintances, and fellow churchgoers (and non-churchgoers).

Find out more


Keeping faith in Journalism: a Church Times Webinar

11 March 2024 | 6pm GMT

An expert panel discusses trust between the media and the public

Online Tickets available


Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)