Somalia

Africa’s Backdoor, October 2007

In one month alone up to 10,000 migrants from Ethiopia and Somalia will pay $80 each to cross the Red Sea from Bosasso, Northern Somalia to Yemen, in small, unseaworthy fishing boats. This dangerous and often fatal journey is becoming one of the world’s biggest migration routes. The first week of October saw 2800 people arrive in Yemen, with an estimated 62 people dead or missing. In September over 6000 made the crossing with an estimated 28 people dead.

Some who make this journey have been displaced by renewed fighting in Mogadishu since the Transitional Federal Government, (TFG) backed by the Ethiopians, seized control from the Islamic Courts (ICU) in January. Others are refugees from the Ogaden Region of Ethiopia and are fleeing persecution by the Ethiopian Government. Yet others are economic migrants, desperate for work, and a better life.

  • Haziz, an economic migrant from Ethiopia's Ogaden region, stands next to a boat. Kate Holt.
  • A Somali man and women beg at the port in Bosasso, Northern Somalia
  • A government soldier guards the port in Bosasso, Somalia. Kate Holt.
  • A settlement for people who have been displaced in North Galkayo, Somalia. Kate Holt.
  • Portrait of a woman, who had her eye shot out in fighting in Mogadishu. Kate Holt.
  • Women and their children sit outside a makeshift shelter in Bosasso, Somalia. Kate Holt.
  • Almira fled Mogadishu in March of this year with her four children when fighting intensified. Kate Holt.
  • A woman in a refugee settlement in Bossaso, Somalia who comes from the Ogaden region of Ethiopia. Kate Holt.
  • A woman sits next to her son who is suffering from acute dysentery in hospital in South Galkayo, Somalia. Kate Holt.
  • A baby who is suffering from intense burns after seeing a traditional healer. Kate Holt.
  • A young man in hospital in South Galkayo, Somalia who had half of his face blown away. Kate Holt.
  • A young boy lies in Bosasso hospital after being shot through the back with an AK for his mobile phone. Kate Holt.
  • A woman and her children in a settlement for displaced people in South Galkayo, Somalia. Kate Holt.
  • Young men from Mogadishu and the Ogaden region of Ethiopia herd sheep at the port in Bosasso, Somalia. Kate Holt.
  • A Somali businessman counts out money for a passengers fare to Yemen. Kate Holt.
  • A truck loaded with people who are starting out on the long 700 km journey from Galkayo to Bosasso. Kate Holt.
  • Kassahun was a soldier in the Ethiopian army, but fled to Bosasso, Somalia. Kate Holt.
  • A Somali man sits near the port in Bosasso, Somalia, looking out over some of the boats. Kate Holt.
  • A young woman in a refugee settlement in Bossaso, Somalia who has come from the Ogaden region of Ethiopia. Kate Holt.