Deporting Somalis from their Country is Illegal

By Liban Ahmad

Lasanod (Commentary) — Somaliland authorities in Lasanod have reportedly authorised deportation of Somalis from southern Somalia. It is a violation of their rights to ask them to leave any part of Somalia involuntarily.

That an administration that prides itself on running a peaceful bastion in Somalia resorts to those tactics is more politically self-defeating that the signature braggadocio of Faisal Ali Warabe, Chairman of UCID, who called for Somaliland Government to render UNSOM Chief James Swan “a persona non grata” for endorsing the election of Upper House Senators from Somaliland.

Much responsibility lies on the shoulders traditional leaders and the Speaker of Somaliland Parliament, Abdirizaq Khalif, who happens to hail from Lasanod and still retains his Somali passport to travel. Militias paid in the name of Somaliland administration will not take the responsibility for deporting Somalis in Lasanod; any politician who supports or chooses to be indifferent to violations against Somali citizens will be culpable.

Somaliland militias in Lasanod deporting Somalis from South Somalia.

It is a sign of political recklessness to pay militias to deport Somalis while Somaliland President Muse Bihi and Chairman of the Guurti (House of Elders) are asking for the Somalia to allow Hargeisa to secede.

People from Southern Somalia invested in Lasanod, created new businesses and made the city more diverse than it was thirty years ago. It is a crime to deport them or rob of their wealth by using orders from Somaliland administration. It says a lot about what Somaliland stands for now — lawlessness and intolerance.

Several days ago authorities in Bura’o arrested a man who recited in public his poem critical of President Muse Bihi’s leadership. Three months ago President Bihi described Hargeisa as a place where Somalis from different parts of Somalia own properties and businesses to underscore the durability of the citizenship rights shared by Somalis. By ignoring the actions of militias in Lasanod President Bihi will implicate his government in human rights violations.

No authority can deport a Somali citizen from any part of his/her country. What Lasanod militias paid by Somaliland authorities are doing is akin to denationalisation.

Deportations will isolate Somaliland and show its search for secession is based on wishful thinking in a country whose sovereignty is protected under the International Law. That is why Somaliland leaders plead with Southern leaders to allow Somaliland to become a separate country. Their request reflects a belief in the legality of the Somali citizenship. They should not be turning a blind to the deportation of Somalis in Lasanod.

A video clip showing a small business owner from Baidoa being deported to Garowe, the administrative capital of Puntland.

By Liban Ahmad