UN relocates 3,900 IDPs to new sites in Somalia

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Internally displaced Somali families rest as they flee from drought-stricken parts of the Lower Shabelle region before entering makeshift camps in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on March 17. Many Somalis suffering from the drought are living under al-Shabab, which controls many rural parts of southern Somalia. FEISAL OMAR/REUTERS
Internally displaced Somali families rest as they flee from drought-stricken parts of the Lower Shabelle region
FEISAL OMAR/REUTERS

The UN migration agency said it has relocated more than 3,900 internally displaced persons (IDPs) at risk of eviction to newly developed public sites in Baidoa, southwestern Somalia.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said some 682 households, consisting of 3,914 individuals drawn from 12 out of 15 targeted IDP sites have been relocated to the new Baidoa public site as of June 23, one week after relocation began.

“The relocation, expected to continue until July, will benefit over 1,000 households from 15 IDP sites,” IOM said in a statement issued on Tuesday evening.

The UN agency said the effort will support internally displaced persons with better living conditions and sustainable land tenure.

The city of Baidoa which hosts an estimated 323,000 displaced people, many of whom live on private land without secure tenure agreements, are at constant risk of forced evictions, according to IOM.

The UN agency said it had developed the new public site together with the South West State authorities, the Baidoa municipality and the community ahead of the relocation.

The IOM says the presence of IDPs may create tension across poor communities, often because as many do establish temporary homes to live in, they raise conflicts of over land tenure and their very right to remain in place.

It said thousands of IDPs are under constant threat of eviction in the city of Baidoa which currently hosts more than 323,000 displaced people, many of whom live on private land without secure tenure agreements.

According to statistics, more than 11,900 individuals were evicted in Baidoa without proper notice this year just between January and March.

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