On World Refugees Day- One man’s family’s life experience in almost a dozen refugee camps

By Ahmed Abdi -Sana’a, Yemen– Born in Beledweyne, Somalia to an Ethiopian Occupied-Ogadeni mother in Mogadishu IDPs and a Somali father from the modern-day Jubaland State of Somalia, who emigrated to Brisbane, Australia with his second wife and seven of his children in 2015, I have become a refugee at a young age and have been an exile for many years due to my political opinion towards Abyssinian imperialism.

As a refugee journalist covering the Horn of Africa conflict ((internal and external) that my family suffered and yet suffering from its consequences for nearly a half-century, I produced an enormous series of publications across dozens of local, regional and international portals over the last 10 years. Those know my work learned that I have been subject of death threats and attacks over my work.

My parents met at a refugee camp in Northern Somalia when my mother’s first husband and my father’s older brother killed in action at the hands of pro-Soviet-Cuban Ethiopia’s communist Derg troops near Harar during Ogaden war 1977-78. For decades, the life of a refugee is all that my family has known.

When Pro-Ethiopian rebels overthrew Siad Barre in 1991, my father who was in Mogadishu fled to Camps in Kenya and then ended up in a refugee Camp in Eritrea where he stayed the years between 1996-2015. Until UNHCR helped him resettle in Australia successfully after nearly seven years waiting for the news of the resettlement.

At then, my mother and I escaped from SNM attack and since then have fruently had to seek refuge in neighboring states in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian peninsula depends on where we feel safe from the governments’ informants and Ethiopia’s long arm.

Almost any Refugee camp in the Horn of Africa and Yemen my family stayed a particular period of their lifetime-hunger, malnutrition and the trauma of violence-are what they have experienced over the years and you will not know much about their painful experience until I publish my raw manuscript about my life experience.


Mareeg senior news editor since 2001 and he can be reached at news@mareeg.com