Residents of villages in Gedo region’s Elwak district are reported to be living in intolerable conditions under al-Shabaab. Children are forcibly recruited by the murderous group, forcing parents to give up their children including underage girls that are later forced to marry al-Shabaab members.
Businesses are suffering under the blood-lust group as it extorts travellers along major routes and imposes hefty taxes on small businesses that are already struggling. Livestock herders are also robbed by the murderous group causing residents to live in terrible conditions.
A Somali government official in Elwak district told reporters that al-Shabaab has recently forced parents to give up several children in villages under Elwak district adding that the group has caused locals to live in dilapidated conditions.
“Business and movement have slowed down in those villages and people are suffering. The small outputs from small businesses are being taken by this man-eating group. Children are being abducted every single day, brainwashed and recruited by the group. A lot of suffering is being reported in these villages,” the official said.
The murderous group always sets up checkpoints and shuts down some of the roads that farmers and pastoralists use to transport their goods, crippling their businesses and rendering them incapable.