Somalia: Puntland president threatens IDPs with Stringent Steps

Published: May 9, 2010

In speech at a meeting on Bosaso Water supply system this week, Puntland president, Abdirahman Mohamud Farole , said that terrorists and murderers on mission to destablise Puntland had infiltrated the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)from Southern regions of Somalia.
Bosaso, the business capital of Puntland, has been known for the tolerance of its people but now president Farole regards “relocating the Internally Displaced Persons to a place outside Bosaso and giving them plots of land, setting up food distribution warehouse and latrines as the best solution to the IDPs problem” in Bosaso.
How can Puntland government address planned assassinations in Puntland towns and cities? We will issue a policy on the internally displaced people; we will take stringent steps. If you learn about the policies, don’t be surprised. Keep that in mind, and share it with other UN organisations, president Farole told Unicef representatives at the meeting.
In the past local, armed men have assassinated Puntland government senior officials and security staff members. Some assassinations were based on sub-clan hostilities but, it seems, president Farole looks upon the local assassins as IDPs affiliates on mission to destabilise Puntland.
Although president Farole lived in a liberal democracy, Australia, he seems to be lacking an understanding about the difference between Internally Displaced Persons and refugees. He is treating Somalia’s IDPs like a refugee problem issue in a third world country who may be repatriated should peace prevails in their country. If the United Nations funds construction of a camp or village for IDPs in the terms envisaged by president Farole, IDPs will have property rights in their country. They are Somalis. And this will be a humanitarian achievement.
The question is: if president Farole thinks about the welfare of IDPs why is he threatening them with “stringent steps and expects Unicef staff members at the meeting to pass on his threats to other United Nations organisations? President Farole, who lived in Australia as a refugee, denies his compatriots the right to live in peace in Bosaso.
President Farole’s choice of words reflects unconscious demagoguery and inability to learn from past gaffes. He is on the wrong path of violating the rights of Somalis who had fled other parts of Somalia. His inflammatory language may incite some people to resort to violence against innocent, internationally discalced people from other regions of Somalia.
Listen to Faroole’s speech:

Liban Ahmad

Listen to Faroole’s speech

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