What are you actually thinking about when you are dying, if you have the time to think?

We have no idea. If we could answer the question we would be very rich and probably have our own cult following every word we would articulate in writing and speech.

It was a strange time, August 1992 in Baidoa, Somalia. We had never been to a place before where people just laid down and died in front of your eyes. It happened all over town. Like this boy. He just went down on the stones and got this dreaming expression in his eyes. Old men, young women, kids, everybody just died. Most very quiet, very few had the energy to produce sounds. The boy died within a few hours.

Overwhelmed we were. As was the rest of the world. Except the Somalis with guns. They were too busy looting and killing.

Was the boy a refugee? Yes, but not in the UNHCR sense. Technically his status was an Internal Displaced Person, an IDP in NGO-speak. But who the fuck cares when you have to flee your home and die doing it.
The Somalis are very resourceful as a people. But how come they are not able to stop fighting and killing each other? The war has been going on for plus 22 years now. The rest of the world has been forced to absorb 100s of thousands refugees from the country. And to be honest, the Somalis are not the most easy going people you can invite into your country. The Abdis and Mohammeds are creating huge problems outside their native country as well. Here in Africa you cannot find a people more disliked and despised than the refugees from Somalia. If we were Somalis we would spend some time thinking about why it is so. Maybe even try to discuss it with our fellow Somali country men and women.

But when this boy was dying we are sure that this line of thought was not on his mind...

Kenya announced this week that they will repatriate 500.000 Somalis within the next three years. We hope Kenya will succeed in that mission but we have our doubts. Good luck!




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