Somalia: Population Movement from Laascaanood - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA), DREF Operation n° MDRSO012

Situation Report
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A. Situation Analysis

Description of the disaster

According to UNOCHA Flash Update #3, from 14 October 2021, more than 7,250 people have been forcibly displaced from Laascaanood and surrounding areas, and the number is increasing daily. The displacement started on 2nd and 3rd October, when hundreds of families were arrested and forcefully displaced from Laascannood, Sool Region of Somaliland. Most of the people are originally from Southwest (SWS) and Hirshabelle states, Banadir and a few from Ethiopia. According to the Puntland Ministry of Interior (MoI), more than 2,800 of the people evicted have arrived in Gaalkacyo and Harfo in the Mudug Region of Puntland between 03and 05 of October 2021. Others have been supported by the Puntland and SWS authorities with onward transportation, mainly to their place of origin in SWS, Hirshabelle and Banadir. Some individuals have moved onwards on their own accord or settled with relatives in Gaalkacyo.

Based on information received by the SRCS Gaalkacyo branch, between 10,000 to 14,000 people are expected to depart from Laascaanood and Erigabo coming months. A large part of those people is already in Gaalkacyo and more are expected to reach Gaalkacyo if the deportation continues in the coming days. Puntland and Somalia officials have called for the Somaliland government to cancel or delay these evictions, but the president of Somaliland, Musse Bihi has declared that the deportation process will be continuing until all the people from Puntland, South and Central Somalia have been fully evicted from Somaliland soil. This means evacuees from Hargeisa, Burco and other large Somaliland towns can also be expected in the coming days.

As of 19 of October, Puntland authorities have recorded that 3,800 out of the 7,250 displaced people have arrived in Gaalkacyo, of which approximately 1,000 have proceeded to move to their places of origin, Southwest State, Hirshabelle and Banadir. The remaining approximately 2,800 displaced persons are now stranded in Gaalkacyo, where the Puntland authorities have given them an open area to settle in, with no shelters or water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facilities.

The displaced people were forced to abandon their belongings as they were put on trucks following the detention. Thosewho have arrived in Puntland urgently need humanitarian assistance in terms of protection services, water, shelter, food, health services, and other necessities.

Cluster partners including UN (UNHCR, WFP, OCHA), INGOs (SCI, DRC) and SRCS have begun the scaling up of the response to the IDPs and are providing available supplies to those who have arrived in Gaalkacyo, including food, water, health, and emergency shelter assistance. Humanitarian partners and authorities in Garowe and Gaalkacyo are conducting joint regular meetings to plan and respond to the emerging humanitarian situation.
The authorities in north Mudug have committed to providing land on the outskirts of Gaalkacyo to settle the new arrivals and appealed to humanitarian partners to provide other services including access to water, health, shelter, and food.

For those wishing to continue travelling south, the Puntland administration is planning to provide transport and is liaising with the Galmudug administration for their safe passage. SWS authorities intend to provide land for temporary resettlement in Baidoa. Both Puntland and SWS authorities established ministerial committees to work with humanitarian partners in addressing the humanitarian needs of the affected.