This video is about the civil war in Somalia and the displaced people because of it. Often these refugees go to Kenya or Ethiopia or any number of countries nearby and end up in refugee camps. However those that can afford it, use smugglers to get them out who provide them with forged documents. One of the routes smugglers take is to fly them to the north of Somalia then to Djibouti. Here without leaving the airport they fly to Brazil, then to Argentina, then Bolivia, Peru, then Colombia. In Colombia they begin making the journey by foot through the jungle to Panama. They go by boat, car, bus, and by foot until they reach Mexico. In Mexico they go to the US border and ask for asylum. From there they are flown to residential facilities that house refugees. They typically do not leave these residential placements. While in the US waiting for their court date which could take from 1-2years, they have no legal rights and can be deported. They can not go to school legally, get any type of medical benefit, nor get a legal job. Though the US does not outright push them away they create a situation that forces them to live an almost non-existence. And after coming from civil war and making a arduous trek to be treated in such a way is sickening.

Somalia was ruled by a military dictator named Mohamed Said Barre from 1969-1991. Barre’s time in power was oppressive and a one party government. He is accused of persecution, jailing, torturing, summary executions, rape, killings, not allowing freedom of speech and many other human rights violations. He adopted Scientific Socialism based on Marx and the Qur’an and nationalized all industries, banks, and businesses. He introduced a new writing script for the Somali language and outlawed the old writing script and forbade clanism. At this time, clans were how the Somali people defined themselves. The clan being a group of people united by either an actual or perceived kinship/descent. A common first question asked when meeting someone new was, “What is your clan?” Barre outlawed this question. He terrorized clans and because of this many clan-based rebel groups formed and he was overthrown in 1991 by a rebel group and thus began the ensuing civil war between clans, warlords and militia groups.

Out of this emerged a system of Islamic courts which became the judicial system in Somalia. At first they were just courts, but then they began offering other services for education and health care. Soon they began to police the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, and the courts joined together and by the late 1990’s formed the Islamic Courts Union (ICU). They created a militia and took control of the Bakaara Market (the largest market in Mogudishu). By 2000, they had consolidated their power to hand decisions across clans though they were mainly part of the Hawiye clan. They claimed themselves dispensers of justice and fought with Mogadishu warlords all over the streets until 2006 when the ICU claimed control over Mogadishu. They proceeded to control most of Somalia, its weapons, and its population. ICU reopened the airport in July 2006 and the seaport in August 2006 which had been closed for about 10-11years. By mid-2006, a full-out war erupted in Mogadishu between the ICU and the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), which is the internationally recognized government of Somalia, who were supported by Ethiopia. By January 2007, ICU had lost all of their territory to the Transitional Federal Government. After this, ICU broke and formed into other Islamist militant groups which continued the war on the government. The less militarized members of ICU went into exile in Eritrea and Djibouti. There are documented 1.9 million displaced civilians from homes in Mogadishu, alone, during the year 2007 which is typically home to 2 million people.

In January 2009, TFG brokered a deal, with the help of the United Nations, with the ICU in Djibouti which saw the former leader of ICU as the new president of TFG. However civil unrest continued between TFG and other militia groups.

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