Somalia: Genet Mengesha – “Yemen is still my destination” – IRIN, BOSASSO

December 10th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

Genet Mengesha, a 24-year-old mother of one and former university student, left her home in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, (more…)

Genet Mengesha, a 24-year-old mother of one and former university student, left her home in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, shortly after the 2005 elections to reach Yemen through the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeastern Somalia.

“I left with my husband and a group of other migrants. We were led by a broker we met in Addis, who took us to Nazareth and then on to Harar.

“I left Addis after my brother was killed in the violence that followed the elections [in 2005]. I did not feel safe and was tired of the violence.

“The trip was dangerous but I prayed day and night to get through it.

“Some of the brokers took our money and delivered on their promises but others were very bad and cruel. The worst part of the trip was when we got to Burao [Somaliland]. The broker there was so cruel. He held us prisoner for 15 days. He robbed us and took everything we had, including mobile phones. He even killed three people, a woman and two men, for trying to escape.

“There were days when we did not eat but Burao was the worst experience of the whole trip.

“It took us 30 days to do the journey from Addis to Bosasso, including walking the last four days to reach Bosasso.

“Bosasso was not what we thought it would be – it was very, very hot and we had no one to help us. We had no money, so we had to do any odd job we could get. I worked in tea shops to clean and take tea to customers.

“At night we sleep in front of buildings and move on in the morning or if you are lucky you get to sleep in one of the ‘bushes’ [a tea kiosk during the day].

“I spent a total of US$300 to come to Bosasso, but now we have to raise $100 for the trip to Yemen [to pay smugglers].

“By then I was pregnant and my husband and I decided it would be impossible to raise all the money, so he would go first and then send for me. Unfortunately, my husband died on the way and now it is just me and my girl [nine-month-old Sabrina].

“I love my country but I cannot go back now, and I cannot stay in Bosasso; there is no life here for me and my daughter.

“It is not a trip I would wish on anyone but I must find a better life for my daughter, so Yemen is still my destination.”

  1. lej
    | #1

    I can say only the almighty God will help you.
    I came to this country throgh all this process, which you already menssioned above. I know how hard to leave in Somalia especially at this time. Please member of dispora let help Ethiopian refugees who languished in the Somalia and Yemen. I tell you frankly do not expect any thing from UNHCR, we ethiopians are the only solution to our people.

  2. Gute
    | #2

    I just advice our people to fight hard at home rather than facing hardship inculding death in Smalia. Let us remain home, pray and struggle.

  3. Hagere
    | #3

    Let’s not leave our country and face the worst of discrimination, hate, neglect and shame. I have decided to remain and start a fight. Death is everywhere. So why not die for my people in my country struggling for a better future for our children!

  4. debebe eshetu
    | #4

    leaving the country and facing hardships individually will benefit weyane. let’s face the weyanne agazi devil head on

  5. | #5

    your story is hard to read,i really cried when i read that your husband id dead.i don’t know you,and you don’t know me either.but we all are Ethiopians.i live in Israel and have a different story, i left my country legally for a better life.i am the so called “FALASHA”, no matter i have a better life or i am “FALASHA”i remain Ethiopian.i usually serf on the internet especially anything connected to my country that why i came to read your story.i wish i could send you some money, so please excuse me to send you some money this is what i can do to my fellow Ethiopians.please take my email address and send your safety address.

    let God will be with you

  6. berhanu negash
    | #6

    my message is direcly to the post master(ER), I HAVE BEEN EXTREEMLY SADENED BY THIS TRAGEDY HISTORY ,we can organize a donation to this pain ful wayane made inhuman faite. however we have to have her exact adreese in which we can have communicate with this lady .that could help us to organize a rescue donation… i my self and my friends have a ful-willing to help this lady ..please let us go further to help our sister at any is so faisable to be a part of solution…berhanu from california.. GOD BLESS MY PEOPLE ETHIOPIAN WHERE EVER THEY ARE….!!!!

  7. Ahmed
    | #7

    I am very sadden by your story GENET! I wish this would be a lesson for others. Please do not pick Somalia as a transit. The other side of world is not as beautiful as you guys think.

    All I can say to GENET is that, when you manage to make your voyage to your choice destination, I will lend my helping hand to you. Could you publicize your email address?

    Good luck.

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