Voices on the Move

Abdulmenon Sultan, an Ethiopian refugee, left Dadaab camp to live and work in Nairobi.
February 09, 2012 Written by: Leandro Oduor

"The police take what little money we have"
Abdulmenon Sultan is a 28 year old Ethiopian who came to Kenya where he sought asylum. Although he is registered in Dadaab refugee camp, he lives in Nairobi because - in his own words – “need to work to get money to have better life”.

Q. Can you tell us what made you leave Ethiopia?
“Because there was no good jobs there. I had no money and was always sad because of this. Life was no good without a job.”

Q. How did you come from Ethiopia to Kenya?
“I have Kenyan relatives in Moyale (Kenya) who are from the Borana tribe. Before I would sometimes cross the border to come visit them so I knew the way to do this. Once I got to Moyale, I met some people who I gave money to. They took me to Marsabit and then Isiolo. One time when we were driving on the proper road and not in the bushes, we were stopped at a police checkpoint and they did not let me go. Then the people who were transporting me had to pay money to the police and we passed the checkpoint. It was a very long journey, I think about four days and I was always scared that the police would catch me again.”

“When I got to Isiolo, we hid for a one day in a house. The next day at night another man came and gave me a bus ticket to go to Nairobi. For this my friend from Nairobi sent me money. When I came to Nairobi, my friend advised me to go to UNHCR. After this they sent me to Dadaab. Life in the camp was hard, we only got little food and there was no work so I came back to Nairobi.”

Q. How are you managing in Nairobi?
“It’s hard... I am lucky that my friend is letting me stay with him and I help him sell ‘Khat’ to other Ethiopians and Eritreans in Pangani. But the police are bad. When they see us they catch us and we have to give them what little money we have. They do this because we are not Kenyan.”

Contact Us

Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat
DRC East Africa & Great Lakes
Lower Kabete Road
(Ngecha Road Junction)
P.O.Box 14762, 00800
Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 709867 000


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