More than 8,000 households have been displaced by increasing protection violations
Date: 2021-04-15 Region: Bardalle District, Bay Region
A combination of forced taxation, recruitment of children, kidnappings, destruction of properties, and incidents of harassments by non-state actors have forced scores of residents to flee to neighboring villages, mainly Bardalle. An estimated 8,303 households, comprised of 49,818 individuals, are confirmed to have fled their homes and lost livelihood sources between the 10th and 14th of April 2021. Available information on the ground indicates that a significant segment of the displaced population are still stranded in outlying bushes due to lack of transport. The majority are said to be women, children, female-headed households, and the elderly persons. Approximately 42 lactating mothers are reported to have fled to neighboring villages because they could not travel long distances on foot and/or lacked essential life-saving supplies for their infants, i.e. milk and water, etc. More than 4,000 households that newly arrived in Bardelle were recorded on 13th April 2021. A second batch consisting of 344 households arrived in Baidoa on the same day. With this incremental displacement trend, local authorities continue to express concerns that the number of new arrivals could increase in the coming days ahead. Estimated 40% of the new arrivals are believed to have joined existing settlements in Baidoa. So far, 3 incidents of rape have been reported perpetrated by host community members who are taking advantage of the prevailing displacement situation, albeit PRMN monitors could not verify this information. According to the field monitors, the wave of protection violations were triggered by two factors: defiance by the local communities to comply with tax and child recruitment demands by non-state actors and threats to the group caused by the non-compliance.
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