On 1st March 2019, after Friday Prayers Al-shabaab had given deadline of evacuation for the community of 11 villages under Hudur District of Bakool region, the villagers were informed to leave their respective villages or face a forceful eviction in ten days starting 1st March.
The communities in these villages mainly farmers and animal holders are said to be the supporters or affiliates of former second deputy of Al-shabaab and former presidential candidate in South West Election Sheikh Muqtar Robow Ali who had been detained by the FSG after the AMISOM/ENDF forces in Baidoa District removed him from the list of the candidates by force where he was unlawfully abducted and detained him deporting to Mogadishu, Sheikh Muqtar Robow is not only jailed without court verdict, put also his detention reasons still remains unknown, it is not the first time where these communities faced force eviction, sanctions and intimidation from Al-shabaab.
Since the remarkable defection of Sheikh Muqtar Robow Ali from Al-shabaab in 2012 where he remained in his own villages as hideouts with his strong and unwavering forces, these communities were under constant pressure from Al-shabaab enduring perpetual intimidation, forced child soldiering of their loved ones, continuous taxation and interrogation of Sheikh Muqtar Robow’s where about and any other information relevant for his hideouts and force numbers.
Currently, the forces of Sheikh Muqtar Robow who are based in Hudur District are constantly attacking Al-shabaab areas of surrounding villages of Hudur districts including villages where these communities are inhabit where young men and women of these villages are already displaced to in Hudur district in fear of Al-shabaab attacks and intimidation, therefore these villagers were asked by Al-shabaab to bring back their young men and women to the villages and join with Al-shabaab, as the villagers remained reluctant of Al-shabaab demands and pressure Al-shabaab had announced an ultimatum where these communities had to vacate from their respective villages or face force eviction from Al-shabaan in ten days.
Hudur district local administration had already faced with tremendous challenges of displacement influx of former IDPs from Tiyeeglow district and communities in these respected villages. Bakool region had been land locked by Al-shabaab forces for the past four years who denied entry of any food and medicines from business or aid organisation where commodity price tripled compare with other regions and cities and the displacement of these villages will put more pressure an already struggling administration with acute food, medicine and water shortages in Hudur district.
It is also very important to note that the lack of response from the SWS government and Federal Somali government on this new development challenges and dilemma faced by these communities, however, the regional administration and other advocates are reaching out the International Community to device sustainable solution for the looming catastrophe associated with these massive displacement of these communities. The first and very important action needed currently according to the regional administration is to provide food and medicine air lifted in Hudur to prepare for the expected massive displacement, the regional administration are appealing to the International Community and other well-wishers to help these communities and the region before the situation goes out of hand.