In a temporary shelter made of corrugated iron and timber poles, about 70 people, mostly women and children, sit hiding from the blistering mid-afternoon sun as hot, humid air blows in from the Red Sea.
They have come to the port town of Berbera in Somalia’s breakaway Somaliland region to seek a respite from the Saudi Arabian-led air strikes in Yemen. They are part of a stream of thousands of people who have landed at ports across the Horn of Africa region since the air attacks on Yemen began in late March.
Ahmed Hassan Hashi used the last bit of money he had to pay for the journey from Yemen to Berbera. It took him more than two days to cross the busy shipping lane to reach the Somali coast, the toll the journey took on his fragile body all too visible.
He left in a hurry in the midst heavy fighting between Shia rebels and coalition forces, with his five children, his panic-stricken wife, and the few clothes he could grab. It was the second time in his life he had to escape war.
“Like rain the bombs were hitting everywhere. It was impossible to stay,” Hashi told Al Jazeera, rocking his heat-blister-covered, seven month old baby in his arms. “I went to Yemen running from the war in Somalia. I ran back to Somalia because of the war in Yemen. Somalia is much safer.”
Hashi worked as a labourer in Yemen, but the bombs brought that to an abrupt end. His wife sits next to him, trying to feed their six-year-old daughter water because there is nothing else to provide.
“There is nothing to give them. I only have this water. They don’t want to drink it because the water is hot. This sun boils and burns everything,” Ahmed said.
Their children sit next to them, still in a state of shock by what they have witnessed. All their life they have only known Yemen as home. Now they have nowhere to call home.
- Pray for the civilians caught up in the war in Yemen, many of whom have lost homes, income and family members. Pray that they will find Hope and healing once again.
- Pray for Yemen refugees in places like Somaliland, where there are no aid workers and no agencies there to help them. Pray that they will meet Christians who will help them and love them with the love of Christ.
- Pray for the children, so many of whom are traumatised by what they have witnessed in Yemen. Pray for their healing and for them to know the Father who loves them deeply.
Psalm 9 vs 18: “For the needy shall not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor perish for ever.”