5Local pastoralists in Shimbiraley village, 70 km northeast of Garowe, say land grabbers are threatening their livestock’s future.
Saleban Omar Salad, a herder, told Radio Ergo large tracks of land in the area were being seized by businessmen.
“People come from urban areas to grab large pieces of land some as big as five km here where we used to graze our livestock. They are trying to make money out of it by selling grass, and we have nowhere else to graze our animals,” he said.
Local elder Yussuf Osman Hersi warned that such moves would threaten the co-existence of people and could trigger clashes.
“Such business interest in grazing and farm land could lead to armed confrontation between angry pastoralists and the investors,” he said. “We don’t want a situation whereby recurrent conflict occurs in the area.”
Hersi urged the Puntland administration to work with the community to resolve the problem.
Deputy Commissioner of Nugal, Abdirahman Issa Mohamed, warned that his office would take stiff action against those involved in the grabbing.
“We have already rescued some pieces of land the grabbers had taken and we will not allow it to continue,” he said.
Illegal land-grabbing is spreading to Nugal Valley and has already reached remote rural villages where clashes have erupted between pastoralists and grabbers.