Amnesty International says new satellite images show the damage to settlements near Mogadishu that were destroyed last month, leaving some 24,000 internally displaced persons forcibly evicted without any notice.
The human rights NGO released the images on Friday with an analysis of the before-and-after results. “These satellite images give a bird’s-eye view of the shocking scale of these forced evictions,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.
The forced evictions are a human rights violation and put vulnerable people at greater risk, she added. “What makes these demolitions particularly cruel is that many of the thousands of people affected had only recently sought protection in Mogadishu after fleeing insecurity, drought and impending famine elsewhere in Somalia,” Jackson said.
The satellite images clearly show structures reduced to rubble during a two-day operation, Amnesty said. No warning was given before armed men accompanied bulldozers to raze the sites at the end of December.
People lost their livelihoods as well as their goods when the 23 camps were dismantled without warning, according to United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Peter de Clercq. He said that schools, water collection stations, sanitation facilities and other infrastructure were “senselessly destroyed,” despite the international focus on Somalia’s development and donors who support it.
Somali minister Gamal Hassan said Wednesday that the government plans an investigation into the recent forced evictions.
Image: Amnesty International