20th January 2016-Yesterday, 19th January 2016, Somaliland police and immigration department officials launched a nationwide campaign against Ethiopian nationals in Somaliland. According to the Minister of Interior, the government is committed to locate and deport undocumented foreigners. This mass deportations started after the government announced December 2015 that all “illegal immigrations” shall leave the country within 30 days starting from 1st January 2016.
The migrants are rounded-up from the streets. The men are transported with lorries while the girls and women are taken by minibuses to the border town of Tog-Wajaale. So far hundreds were returned back to Ethiopia.
“The government shall stop the mass expulsions. Even the thirty days deadline given by the government is not over. The process shall be based on individual assessment conducted in accordance with the international standards. It is worrying that the people are collected from the streets and filled with lorries who are dropping them in the border in great numbers. There is no system or authorities in the other side of the border who are there to take care of them. We do not know how many would be in danger if they go back to Ethiopia, taking into account that high number of the deportees are of Oromo people,” says Guleid Ahmed Jama, chairperson of Human Rights Centre.
“We recommend the government to deal the procedure on individual basis rather than taking collective measures,” he adds.
There are large numbers of Ethiopians in Somaliland, many are undocumented while others are registered with Somaliland government as asylums seekers and refugees. The Ministry of Rehabilitation Resettlement and Reconstruction is responsible in registering the applicants. The Ministry has only two registration offices in the country, one is in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, and the other in Berbera.
Guleid Ahmed Jama
Chairperson, Human Rights Centre,
Phone: +252 (0)63 4468227
Mulaho Mohamed Ali
Spokesperson of Human Rights Centre
Phone: +252 (0) 4008357