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Somaliland president Bihi differs with UN over Las Anod evictions

Muse Bihi says UN agencies failed to support the IDPs in his region then they decided to evict them [File photo]

HARGEISA, Somalia - Muse Bihi Abdi, the president of Somalia's northern breakaway region of Somaliland has lashed at United Nations Humanitarian Agency OCHA over Las Anod's evictions, arguing that the deportations were carried out due to security concerns.

Estimations done by the UN indicate that over 7,000 people were kicked out of Las Anod over claims of being a "security threat" but investigations indicate that the affected families may have been evicted over the business rivalry between northerners and southerners.

In his harsh statement targeting the UN, Bihi, who is facing a reelection debacle in 2022, termed the UN agency as "hypocritical and dishonest". Sunday's statement comes amid condemnation from the international community.

He said OCHA had politicized the matter instead of doing thorough investigations before launching a scathing attack on his government. The UN has been in the frontline criticizing the Somaliland government for the unfortunate evictions.

“OCHA publicizes suffering of people when it raises funds in Muslim countries. It has never done anything for the people who lived in Las Anod," he argued.

Bihi’s accusation came after OCHA Somalia said Somaliland expelled 7,250 Somalis since October 2 without food, water, and medicine, allegations strongly refuted by Muse.

OCHA further stated in a statement that another 24 families had been relocated to villages under Buhoodle, while about 400 families [2,400] people had been informed to leave Erigavo by October 21st while reporting the loss of relatives and children, as well as property, allegations largely rejected by Somaliland.

“I think what the United Nations has said is not in the best interest of the people who have been relocated from Las Anod. What have you added to those thirty years? What do you do if OCHA is worried about refugees? Why didn’t they help? Why is OCHA crying today?” said President Bihi.

Thousands of the affected families have been settled in Puntland by the regional administration of President Said Abdullahi Deni. There are some who have moved to the Southwest as Somalia looks for a lasting solution to the debacle.


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