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Local Authority Eviction Spark Mass Unrest At Pepsi Cola Factory
Hargeysa, Somaliland, June 30, 2007 (SL Times) On Thursday morning, a family of 11 children and their parents were removed by force from their home and evicted by the local authority from the Hargeysa old Pepsi Cola factory grounds. The demolition of Abdi Adan Aynanshe’s home sparked a mass riot and pitched battles with angry residents living nearby.
The father of 11 kids, Abdi Adan Aynanshe told SL Times that he lived in the Unused Pepsi Cola factory grounds with his wife and 11 kids when local authority officials and police came early morning Thursday and destroyed his home which angered his neighbors and resulted in confrontation with the police and city officials.
Mr Aynanshe continued, “I was out, when 6 am in the morning local authority officials and police came to my family home and started to beat my family, destroying all our possessions and utensils, then proceeded to demolish my home, without any advance warning or notice.”
More than 10 people are being held in Iftin police station for obstructing local government and police from executing their duties. The wife of Abdi Adan, Mrs Qadan Hussein is among those held at Iftin police station. She recently gave birth, less than a week ago. She sustained numerous head and body injuries when the local authority and police started to demolish her home while still inside. The 11 kids of Qadan had spent last night staying in 3-4 different localities and homes with friends and family.
At the height of the disturbances, live barrage of ammunition, fired by the police in the air could be heard for more than 20 minutes.
According to Abdi Adan Aynanshe, the grounds of the old Pepsi Cola factory was sold to a private businessman by the Mayor of Hargeysa.
Mr Aynanshe stressed that he had never been approached by the local authority to vacate the grounds.
The father of 11 added, “I have been living in these grounds since 1991. I also made it known to the local government that I only intended to live temporarily on the grounds.”
One neighbor said, “It’s not fair that a family living in this area for 16 years is simply split apart by the local authority because it has sold this land to private business people, then to go on and destroy this poor family’s home which is all that they had.”
Another, neighbor said, “If the local authority wants to build public schools, health centers, recreational parks or any public use on this land, then the local authority has every right to evict these people; but when it sells public lands and estates belonging to the government to private business, then, I believe that the family should stay right where they are and should be defended from Jiir’s greed and bullying.”
This is the second incident of its kind attributed to Mayor Jiir.
In December 2005, Dumbuluq residents fought pitched battles with police when Mayor Jiir sold the previous Siyad Barre government Inji warehouses and gave the go ahead to rebuild them to businessman Mr. Qawsar Afdinle. This incident resulted in the death of 13 people, the serious injury of over 30 people, and the destruction of a number of private homes and shops.
Source: Somaliland Times