HARGEISA, 10 September 2009 (SomalilandPress) – The number of street children in Hargeisa, capital of Somaliland, is on the rise as more Ethiopian children cross the border in search of a better life.
The immigrant children are adding to the burden of local street children, most of whom have been forced on to the streets by drought and insecurity within Somaliland and further south, in Somalia.
“You can see old women accompanying about 20 children, of different ages, crossing the border into Somaliland from Ethiopia. These women may be their grandmothers, aunts or mothers,” Khadar Nour, chairman of the Hargeisa Child Protection Network (HCPN), told IRIN.
(Photo: Knives recovered from street children in Hargeisa on display at the town’s police station)
“The children, who are mainly from the Oromo [region of Ethiopia], beg in the streets of Hargeisa with their mothers,” Nour said. Some work as shoe shiners, sending their earnings to relatives in Ethiopia.
Hargeisa is also a popular transit point for those seeking to travel further. “About 100 to 200 immigrant children cross the border from Ethiopia into Somaliland [annually] on their way to [the self-declared autonomous region of] Puntland, or to Yemen,” he said.
Poverty and family break-ups have also fuelled the rise in numbers. There are about 3,000 children, most of them boys between five and 18, living on Hargeisa’s streets.
Crime threat
With the rising numbers, officials are concerned about an upsurge in crime. “They [the street children] are becoming a threat to the town’s stability,” said Nour.
“When they grow up, they still find themselves living in difficult conditions; it is for this reason that they grab mobile phones.”
Consequently, a number of the children are now in conflict with the law. In August, Nour said, a 16-year-old was sentenced to death in a Berbera regional court after being found guilty of murder.
“The grown-up street children have become the new gangsters,” Mohamed Ismail Hirsi, Hargeisa’s Central Police Station commander, told IRIN.
“In the last 72 hours, we have arrested more than 30 street children who have committed crimes such as stealing mobile phones in different parts of the town.”
(Photo: young boy makes a living polishing shoes on the streets of Hargeisa, Somaliland (file photo): Immigrant children are working in Hargeisa to support their families )
In the past two years, some 5,000 knives and other weapons, which are commonly used in robberies, have been recovered from the street children, prompting calls for more focused interventions.
“People say good words in workshops, but few interventions for street children have been [implemented],” said Nour of HCPN, which recently started providing food and education support for the children.
Once arrested, the children are charged as adults because a 2008 juvenile justice law has yet to be implemented.
Glue sniffing
The children living rough are turning to drugs. “I use glue because when first I came to the streets I saw my friends sniffing it,” Ahmed Omar, 12, told IRIN. “Whenever I use it, I am able to survive a difficult situation.”
The lack of a family support system also means more children may end up on the streets, as Abdi-Qani Ahmed’s experience illustrates. “When my mother and father divorced, there was no one left to take care of me,” Ahmed, 11, said. “I used to get my food from restaurants in Hargeisa where I fed on leftovers.”
During Ramadan, however, few if any restaurants are open. “I have to wait to see if someone gives me something to eat or not,” he said.
Living on the streets puts the children at risk of abuse from other street children as well as strangers. For protection, the children often seek refuge outside the police station at night.

Source: (IRIN)


  1. Somaliland has do something about Immigrants who are crossing the border everyday from Ethiopia, The Ethiopians (Oromos) are burden in Somaliland and that Ethiopians are causing trouble inside our Country, and that they can cause instablity in the country, and that Ethiopians are out of control because that they cross in our border everyday and that they cause trouble in the Cities and Towns and Villages in Somaliland, and that they are a public burdern, most the Ethiopians in Somaliland don't work the only thing they do is beg and ask people for money, The Country is far developed then our country, and coming to our borders and being a burden,

  2. Them becoming Gangsters in our Streets is totally unexectable, and that the Somaliland who catches Oromos causing a crime should prosecute them to full extent of the law, and another way to solve the problem is to deport the Ethiopians back to Ethiopia were they belong,

  3. Don’t be hard on immigrant like those who are from Oromo. If you have solid foundation of law enforcement, then you shouldn’t worry about small group of people who is trying to scape hardship. Don’t for get we have large number of Somalis who are immigrant around the world.

  4. Excuse me Omar they are causing trouble in Somaliland and they are un employed and they are more then us combined they are about 60 million and they dont' wont to go abroad they want Burden Somaliland, they have beautiful land and they don't even know how to work it, I understand that there Somali's around the world and that is a different story, because of civil war and unrest and at least us Somali's are working and educating ourselves aboard, and the oromos are not, and that they won't take over Somaliland, and take our lands,
    don't forget former Dictator Said Barre won't finish of my people the Somalilanders in Somaliland and after his plan he won't to bring the oromos to Somaliland to make them live there, who are you Omar and I don't think you seem to care about Somaliland, and I want to you react about this pal,

    • you said Somali's are working and educating ourselves aboard.

      you are mistaken bro. Somali people are not working or educating themselves. If you go UK , USA , Canada , Saudi Arabia or any other place you will see that Somali people are lazy. Somali people image is very bad all over the world not only because of the wars in the south but also from what Somali people in the diaspora are doing either they are from the south or Somaliland. I don't say all of them like that but majority of them like that.

  5. Let tell me you smoething bro. not all somalis are bums, you are a bum, tell your boyfriend omar that somalis are not bums,

  6. how do you know that somali's don't work hard, I am your worst nightmare boy an educated Somali man and a working class, my brother think before you do,

  7. some somalis are lazy and some somalis are hardworkers wherever they are,
    and Hussein what do think of an educated Somal person or hardworking somali person, not all somalis are lazy, Some Somalis living aboard like Canada, and the States, and The UK and Europe collect welfare,

  8. If you are educated that is good because I would like all Somalis to be educated regarless of were they live. An educated man wouldn’t say An oromo muslims should not allow to stay in Somaliland. You can deport the bad one but don’t bother the Miskiin innecent that respect your law. Don’t mix Oromo and Ethopia. Oromo are Omars and Mahameds while real Ethoipian are Welde and Heyles. It also Ramadan and you should welcome the Oroma with controllable number.

  9. But let me tell you something both Omar and Hussein, no oromo are miskiin in Somaliland, they are all bad, they are lazy in Somaliland, there are no successful oromo in Somaliland, Omar i don't think you are educated, are you from Somaliland or not , are you Somali in general, The people from the South (Somalia) are welcome to come to Somaliland, because they are brothers and sisters are fleeing from the war in the south, and when they started to come to Somaliland the economy has grown, because they opened business,

  10. Ali I agree with you that many Somali people are hard worker and educated but they are not the majority. Another thing if you see Somaliland and Somalia the economic condition is not good but people spend millions of dollars every in qat this money could be invested in useful projects or factories inside the country my point is where is the wisdom. I believe that most of Somali people are smart but they are lazy.

    • Hussein Somali 's whether in Somaliland or Somalia or other eastern African countries waste their money on useless things such as qat, point taken, Somaliland is not bad, and Inshallah Somaliland would improve in the near future, so far not all Somalis are lazy bro, in Somaliland people have invested in business, a lot business have increased in Somaliland, and in abroad Somalis their most of them are lazy, Somalis their are also hard workers and they learn hard too, Some Somali's in Canada and America and England, and Europe, and Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Australia, New Zealand, and other parts of Africa you can find succesfull Somalis who have a run their own business, and have good business, if you go to Kenya the Captial Nairbori there are alot of Somalis there who business their,

  11. Omar stop acting ignorant man, if let them in they wil never get them out, and whatever you do is your business, they will out number us, if they are not controlled, that means you support them, if they are serious of getting a new life in Somaliland like getting a Job instead of begging that would be no problem,
    but if they are a mouth to feed and expecting take money from people by begging, Omar you need to know alot about outside Africa, you are still in Africa I believe because of your opinion's about Oromos try to take over Somaliland because of their large population, For instance in Dubai UAE everyday Indians come their hoping to have a new life and to get a better Job, but they go their for work, I would not mind that if the Oromos were the Indians,

  12. Hi guys, you all missing the BIG PICTURE ,political agenda behind these are here something else, they here to take over the country in 20 years you will all see Ethiopians are runing Somaliland, just remeber that, why they don't go to xamer, why the all here in hargeysa? you all idiots open your and think outside the box.

  13. Get the hell of out here you are making fun of me you are an Idiot , Ali Jamac I was the one who said that, and what don't you shut the up you degenerate,

  14. Hey Cali Jama I support your opinion about the Ehtiopians, but watch you mouth, it is ramadan, don't call people idiots, so do not be rude, are else you will report to the owner of this website, you have to respect each others opinion so don't be rude you too Guled, you two be nice, and learn your manners,

  15. Hey Cali Jamac what do U mean they should go to Xamar, if they go to Xamar they will out number them too, and plus there is a civil war too In Xamar, who is crazy enough to go there, no who is the idiot, so think before you do dumbass,

  16. Hey Cali Jama I Support your opinion about the Ethiopians, but watch your mouth, it is ramadan, don't call people idiots, and do not be rude okay, and don't attack the people of xamar, or else I will report you to the website administraton, you can say whatever you want but no name callings okay Son,

  17. Excuse me Ali Jama, were you talking about the oromos who should go to Mogadishu, they will also be a burden their too, not only in Somaliland, but for the rest of Somalia, and at this rate if they keep coming to both places they will run the country and out number us, but Ali Jama I made very sad, when I heard that you said they should go to Xamar, and you won't them to be a burden their too, so your ignorance disguise me,

  18. Excuse me Cali Jamac, were you talking about the oromos who should go to Mogdishu instead of Hargeisa, they will also be a there as well, not only in Somaliland they will be a burden in Somalia as well, and that they will out number us anywhere whether in Somaliland or Somalia or Puntland, they have a beautiful land in Ethiopia, abd plus there is no war now in Ethiopia, and they should stay in there own country and be a burden in Ethiopia, I was sad when you Cali Jamac said that they should go to Xamar and they would be the same problem in Hargeisa and they would take over all of Somalia, so what were you thinking when you were about this comment use common sense, so your ignorance disguise me, and grow up, and be quiet,

  19. Dear Cali Jamac,
    Your Comments about Oromo should go to Mogadishu instead of Hargeisa is totally impossible, because that the people of Mogadishu or Xamar would face the same as the people in Hargeisa, and that the solution as that if they don't enter in neither places, use your brain or if you don't a brain, if they go to Xamar instead of Hargeisa they can easily took over Somalia, and then will come to Puntland and then they will come to Somaliland, all over the Somali regions, so that comment you said about they should go to Xamar is not logic, So that you should learn your geography, if they go Xamar instead of Hargeisa they will still out number us and you will see them run not in Somalia but in Puntland and Somaliland, so now use your head,

  20. Cali Jamac again your comments about Oromos that should go to Mogadishu rather go to Hargeisa, is the most idiotic thing I ever had before in my life, wake up and smell the Coffe, If they go Mogadishu rather then Hargesia, they still can easily sneak into Somaliland and Puntland, and they will take over not just Xamar, all of Somalia, and even Somaliland and Puntland will rub by the them the oromos, and that is very weak you said in your comment, so where's your brain, and Xamar is the biggest Somali city and they can still come to us,

  21. Bunch idiot Oromo haters. Somaliland is a country with a 70% UNEMPLOYMENT RATE! IF there was jobs to work they would work them but since they arent you have unemployed people.

    Oromo migrate to somaliland because itimadation and fear of being killed, locked up, or tortured due to the known Ethiopian Government activities on Oromos.

    Oromos are not coming to take over your burning hot lousy former British Protectorate but rather of human rights violations committed on them by the Ethiopians. If Somaliland had a professional program for immigrants to assimilate to society better that would eventually help them find jobs then all this would not be happening. Instead of this, citizens of Somaliland actually discriminate against them as well as insult them which causes people like in this article.


  23. I agree with you guys. It's better to die in Oromia than live in Hargeysa or whatever.

  24. Its heart wrenching to read and see the photos of Oromo children burnet alive! Its something that would tell
    much about Somali people at large and those Hargessa Isaacs. God willing we will see you soon!
    Oromos don't travel to such heathen land named Somaliland. May Alah bring the worst stunami upon these
    people and wash them down into the Ocean. I thought these people are moslems, boy was I wrong, they
    are worse than monkeys of the jungle.