Al Shabaab orders residents to evacuate Hudur

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Addis Ababa, 19 Feb 2014 (WIC) - Hundreds of residents have begun to flee from Hudur, capital of Bakool region, following an al Shabaab order, residents reported.

Mohamed Yusuf Hassan,who is still in the town,said residents began leaving a week ago. “Hudur is like a desert today and everyone has fled. Very few people are still remaining,” Hassan told Radio Ergo’s reporter in Baidoa by phone.

He said that people had fled after al Shabaab ordered them to evacuate as“an invading enemy” wasapproaching, referring to Ethiopian forces who are believed to be heading towards the town.

Radio Ergo’sreporter said the displaced families have arrived in Wajid and Tigeylow districts in the same region. Abdulahi Hassan Hussein, his wife and their eight children, fled from Hudur using donkeys to travel the 90 km to Wajid.“It is the very hot season and we have been on the road for three days,” Hussein told Radio Ergo.

“There is no one here for us but we didn’t dare to defy al Shabaab’s order and stay at home,” he said.

Most of the displaced families have moved to other towns controlled by al Shabaab.Radio Ergo’sreporter said there wasa high possibility that they might be displaced again and move to areas under the federal government's administration. The local administration of Baidoa, the capital of Bay region, is encouraging residents to prepare to host a possible influx of displaced families from Bakool.

“There are already a number of displaced families arriving in the town,” said the chairman of Social Affairs for the Baidoa administration. (AMISOM Mo - Radio Ergo)