" I decided to return to Somaliland"
Galo Mudig* is a 19 year old man from Hargeysa Somaliland. In August 2013, he left Somaliland for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia hoping to transit through Libya and eventually reach the shores of Europe.
We were held in a house in Hargeysa for 4 days
“I decided to attempt the journey to Libya for the first time after I finished my high school education. I tried to trick my parents into giving me the money I needed for the journey. My father eventually gave me USD 4,000. After I got the money, I started to look for the contacts of a smuggler. I met one who was willing to take me to Ethiopia, the first leg of my journey. Before I left for Ethiopia, the smuggler held me and 200 other young people in a house for 4 days so that our parents would give up looking for us.
After 4 days we travelled by public transport to Tog Waajale border crossing, and then Jijiga before we eventually reached Addis Ababa. In Addis Ababa we were taken to a house rented by Somalis. They gave us food and allowed us to take a bath. We were told that we would stay at the house for 5 days while the smuggler arranged the next part of our journey.
Change of heart
Within those 5 days, I got the news that a friend of mine who had left for Libya a few months before I started my journey, had drowned while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Italy. The news of my friend’s death deeply saddened me. As a result, before we left Addis Ababa for the 2nd leg of the journey, I decided to go back home to Somaliland.
I do not wish to attempt a journey to Europe again unless I can find a safe way to migrate. As a Muslim, I know that everyone will die one day, so I do not fear death, but I know it will take a long time for me to establish myself in Europe if I travel there irregularly so I would rather stay at home. My parents have purchased a small car for me so that I can operate a taxi business in Hargeysa.”
*Galo Mudig, not his real name was encountered in Hargesya during an RMMS visit in September 2014.