(ERGO) – Asha Mohamed Abdirahman had to flee for her life when violent clan conflict broke out in Dhabar Dalool, a remote village in the arid plains of northern Somalia’s Sool region.
She described to Radio Ergo how she and her husband grabbed their four children and rounded up their goats to leave as fast as they could. In the mayhem that accompanied the fighting, they lost 20 of their 70 goats. They had no time to carry any of their clothes, utensils, or other belongings.
“We walked with our goats for a whole day covering a distance of 15 kilometres to reach Shimbiralay,” she said.
They reached Shimbiralay, Hudun district, on 16 April, a day after the fighting broke out. They are among 280 families displaced from Dhabar Dalool, 25 kilometres east of Hudun, and from areas surrounding the water well that is the focal point of the village.
“My biggest problem is shelter and food,” said Asha, who has been sleeping rough since they fled. “A relative gave me a plastic bag that I tie to a tree to shelter under from the rain with my children. We have slept in the rain for the last three nights.”
A relative gave Asha 10 kgs of rice and she cooks for her children early in the morning and again at night.
Asha said that in Dhabar Dalool, she used to sell a goat when they needed to buy food for the family, but she has not been able to take her goats to the market as tensions are continuing between the warring sides. The roads have also become impassable in the Gu’ rainfall.
When the shooting started in Dhabar Dalool, Abdikadir Mohamed Ali fled with his six children, 120 goats and two donkeys in another direction towards the rural area of Quruc-dheero, 25 km northeast of Lasanod. He told Radio Ergo he walked with his family and the livestock for six hours, having left everything else behind.
“Many pastoralists from all over the country who came in search of water and pasture were in Dhabar-Dalool. The conflict has affected everyone in the area, even the two fighting clans,” said Abdikadir.
His family lost 30 goats that he was unable to find in the chaos of escaping.
They have been given two mats and one blanket by the host community in Quruc-dheero. Some of his neighbours gave him some dry food and cooking utensils.
“I would have sold some of my goats to buy the family food, but the roads have been cut off by the rains,” said Abdikadir.
One of the clan elders, Abdirisack Mohamed, said they have been working to resolve the conflict between the sides. He told Radio Ergo they have managed to secure a ceasefire until the end of Ramadan, after which they will sit down with the two warring clans to seek an end to the conflict.