Al-Shabaab blockade of Hudur inflicts punishment on residents

By Ali Adam in Mogadishu

January 09, 2013

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Since allied forces forced al-Shabaab to relinquish control of Hudur in March 2012, the militant group has resorted to blocking access to the city and cutting off vital food supplies.

  • A woman walks to a hospital in Hudur in June 2012. The city has been under al-Shabaab blockade for about a year. [William Davies/AFP]

    A woman walks to a hospital in Hudur in June 2012. The city has been under al-Shabaab blockade for about a year. [William Davies/AFP]

Adan Abdalla Ahmed, 52, who sells clothes in Hudur, said al-Shabaab is trying to create tension between residents and the Somali government by making life more difficult with skyrocketing food prices.

Al-Shabaab militants who control villages and towns surrounding Hudur have prevented supply vehicles coming from Mogadishu from going beyond the Abal district, 20 kilometres east of Hudur, the Bakol regional capital.

"Al-Shabaab fighters have positioned themselves on all the roads that enter the city and have stopped everything from entering it," Ahmed told Sabahi, adding that even pastoralists who used to bring milk into Hudur have been denied entry.

"The militants threaten anyone going to or coming from the city and tell them they will be killed if they are caught coming to Hudur again," he said.

Warder Ahmed Abdi, 30, who brings foodstuffs by donkey to Hudur from surrounding areas, said traders delivering goods into the city put their lives in danger every time they enter Hudur. He said traders resort to taking longer routes to avoid al-Shabaab roadblocks.

"When we leave the Abal district, we cannot take the direct path [to Hudur] and we are forced to circumvent and hide from al-Shabaab," Abdi told Sabahi. "If al-Shabaab fighters see us, they will harm us and burn our goods. They will treat us badly and threaten to kill us if we try to take goods to Hudur again."

Women and children affected most

Halima Nur, a 35-year-old resident of Hudur, said al-Shabaab is inflicting the most harm on the women and children of Hudur.

"I used to own a small store in the town where I sold tea to provide for my children's livelihood. That has become extremely difficult, as everything has become expensive. I do not know what to do because the whole town is locked down and no one can leave."

"This is not a life," said Nur, a widow and sole provider for her three children.

Hudur District Commissioner Mohamed Moalin Ahmed said his administration is aware of the difficulties al-Shabaab is inflicting on the residents of Hudur and that they are working to restore normalcy and liberate the entire region "soon".

"Under my administration, we trained an armed unit of about 800 troops with the help of the Ethiopian army in the Bakol region," Ahmed said. "The troops are now ready to take part in the liberation of areas held by the enemy. We are now in the final phase of preparation and all the regions inhabited by innocent civilians who are being harmed by al-Shabaab will be liberated."

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Reader's Comments

  • salax cali cabdi
    February 7, 2013 @ 04:17:25PM

    I would like to condemn that group called Al-Shabaab which is in the forefront in creating problems and misleading people. I would like to request from them to embrace civilization and forgo the uncouth behavior they do at this time.

  • farxaan faarax jokar
    February 4, 2013 @ 03:00:31AM

    Let Al-Shabaab fail.

  • cabdirisaaq
    January 30, 2013 @ 02:44:49AM

    Surely this article is important to those who were going with the information. Thanks goes to those who wrote it.

  • maxamed cismaan
    January 27, 2013 @ 08:40:18AM

    They gone wrong. Haven't they?

  • daaki
    January 21, 2013 @ 08:45:46AM

    How did they explain the sanction?

  • قاهر الزنادقة
    January 17, 2013 @ 12:42:45AM

    Peace and blessings be upon you…. I would like to remind the brothers in this site, as Muslims in general and as Somalis in particular, that they must not belittle the issue of justice and equity. Do not fight the goodness! When you talk about the Mujahidin in Somalia, you introduce them to the people as if they are killers who never care about the bloodshed against the innocents. This is absolutely unfair... Why don't you focus your enmity and hatred on the invading crusaders???? Why do you not shed the light on the merits of the Mujahidin??? Is it not right that you must be loyal to them due to the bond of the common faith? How can you be loyal to those who hate and fight Islam openly? These are very simple questions, dear brothers... Do you agree with me that the African forces in Somalia Muslim land are considered Christian crusaders? What is the religious duty if the enemy raided an inch of the Muslim lands???? Do you not care about the victim and suffice with helping the butcher?

  • Martha Cosmas
    January 16, 2013 @ 12:57:24AM

    you Al-Shabaab group your war brings suffering to children, women and the elderly! stop it! fear GOD who is the commander of armies!

  • c
    January 15, 2013 @ 10:59:07AM

    I think Al-Shabaab will fall in to the ditch in which their predecessors have fallen into and they will fail just like the way they have failed before.

  • sahal
    January 13, 2013 @ 04:21:30PM

    This issue is something that no one can blind himself about and is even clear now.

  • STEVE
    January 10, 2013 @ 05:43:27AM

    The allied forces should go and rescue these innocent souls.

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