Mogadishu (Alshahid)-The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia has started a major operation to remove tens of thousands of people who have been squatting in state-owned buildings in the capital.
Aid agencies in Somalia estimate that more than 50,000 people live in abandoned official buildings in Mogadishu, the nation’s capital. An abandoned school in the area shelters more than 17,000 residents.
Mogadishu mayor Mayor Mohamud Ahmed Nur told the BBC that the local government now has the money to renovate the government buildings in Mogadishu and make them functional again. He said that squatters have been leaving voluntarily.
Mr Nur said that so far, people had left the buildings on a voluntary basis but that if they refused to move, force would be used.
President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed visited one of the sites to encourage people to leave.
“These are government offices where public services will be offered,” he said, adding that the reconstruction would provide jobs.
Some residents, however, rejected his call to vacate the buildings, saying they had nowhere else to go.
The security situation in Mogadishu has improved over the past year.