May 13, 2012 ·11 Comments
NAIROBI — Tanzania has released a group of almost fifty Somali refugees and asylum seekers that activists say includes three females from Mtwara prison.
The Somali embassy in Tanzania helped the group regain their freedom after it negotiated a deal with the country’s Ministry of Interior.
Ahmed Abdulsamad Ahmed, one of the freed asylum seekers described their dangerous and harrowing passage through four east African countries. “My journey began in Mogadishu where I left due to grinding poverty, uncertainty and insecurity. After reaching the Kenyan port city of Mombasa, we embarked on a perilous boat voyage,” he told Somali reporters.
Speaking about the conditions on the boat he said: “After eleven days on the high seas, we ran out of food and supplies. The boat’s engine caught fire and we lost one young gentleman called Aweys due to starvation.”
After a long period he said the boat operated by smugglers dropped them off near Tanzania’s border with Mozambique, which is marked only by the River Ruvuma. “Mozambican security forces detained us and for several hours severely beat us. After stripping of our clothes and belongings, they continued their physical abuse till some of us broke both legs and dropped us off on the Tanzanian side of the border,” he said.
Mr. Ahmed said Tanzanians were more humane and treated them well. He said after they were giving food, water and clothe, they were taken to a court and then prison. He thanked the Tanzanian people and their government.
The office of the Somali embassy in Tanzania also expressed its gratitude to Tanzania.
The group of 49 Somali migrants said South Africa was their final destination where migrants can seek employment and ultimately a better life.
It was just days ago when Mozambican Deputy Foreign Minister Eduardo Koloma was received in Mogadishu by Somali officials to discuss Somalis jailed in his country. During a joint press conference, the Somalia’s Prime Minister Abdiweli M Ali said he agreed to discuss the issue with the Mozambican government. He never said anything about Somali migrants abused in Mozambique. The Prime Minister did not reveal if arrangements has been made to voluntary return Somali migrants home.
Human right groups including United Nation agent UNHCR have in the past condemned the Mozambican government and called them to end the inhumane treatments.
May 13, 2012Follow @somalilandpress