INTERVIEW:Mohamed Omar Moalim, Somali Disaster Management Agency (SODMA) adviser talks to Radio Dalsan on IDPs

Radio Dalsan: Please tell us about your role at the DMA?

Mohamed: Thank you; I am a IDPs advisor in relation to Profiling at the DMA. Basically my job is to assist in any IDP profiling/registration exercises which profile the demographic data of the IDP population with national/local authorities, state institutions and civil society.

Radio Dalsan: Can you give us a little bit of background information on IDPs in Mogadishu and in Somalia in general?

Mohamed: It is estimated that there are around 1 million IDPs in Somalia.

Somalia has the seventh largest displaced populations in the whole World. 350,000 IDPs are said to be in Mogadishu alone. That number is likely to go up in the wake of returning refugees from neighboring countries, in particular Kenya.

Radio Dalsan: Tell us briefly about the latest IDPs evictions in Mogadishu?

Mohamed: Our latest reports indicate that IDPs in and around the headquarters of the Custodial Corps near KM7 were evicted on March 6 and 7. These IDPs had already been evicted from various locations across Mogadishu.

Radio Dalsan: There have been evictions of IDPs from several locations in Mogadishu recently, what are the reasons behind this increased trend of evictions?

Mohamed: Many IDPs were living and are still living in privately and publicly owned buildings, and these are currently being claimed back by private owners as well as the government.

Radio Dalsan: Can you tell us overall number of IDPs evicted from settlements in Mogadishu? And where do evictees settle?
Mohamed: Most IDPs end up around KM7 to KM13.

I currently don’t have exact number of IDPs displaced in recent evictions but I would estimate those displaced from evictions in the last 6 months to be around thousands or so.

Radio Dalsan: What is the DMA or government policy towards IDPs in relation to evictions in Mogadishu or elsewhere in the country?

Mohamed: The Federal Government has adopted a national IDP policy. There was a meeting held in Mogadishu In January 2015 which included representatives from Puntland, South West and Jubbland, to discuss how to advance the national policy on IDPs. Furthermore, the Ministry of Interior has recently adopted eviction guidelines.

These guidelines state that IDPs should be given a notice period before evictions. In theory, the government is to also award these IDPs compensation for the eviction to assist them in relocating elsewhere.

However, the reality is that the government lacks adequate resources to award such compensation.
Radio Dalsan: Does the government have any relocation plans for IDPs?
Mohamed: In 2013, the former Minister of Interior and National Security proposed relocation plans for IDPs in Mogadishu. Unfortunately, due to lack of resources and security concerns, the government was unable to go through with this relocation plan.
Radio Dalsan: What is the government’s current intention in relation to IDPs in Mogadishu?
Mohamed: DMA is currently collaborating with international partners and the Somali government in profiling of IDPs in Mogadishu and elsewhere. So far we have managed to conduct mapping of IDPs settlements in and on the outskirts of Mogadishu.

It is our expectation that once this profiling is finalized, the government and the DMA will use this data to assist them in informing policy as well as planning for a durable solution of IDPs.
Radio Dalsan: Thank so much for your time.
Mohamed: You’re welcomed.