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Aesha is now living in Denmark where she's hoping to get asylum. Photo: Makmoud

African mother on the run

29-years-old Aesha left Ethiopia when she was fifteen years of age fleeing prosecution and death.

By Makmoud

Third world countries are dangerous to individuals who seek freedom. In the dictator’s dictionary, there is no meaning of freedom and it is tabu and can cost you your life.

In the nineties the ethnic group, the Oromo, started to demonstrate and organise civil decedent to gain recognition by the state. They were even not recognised as citizens of the country. Through the creation of the Oromo Liberation Front, the state retaliated brutally and Aesha father was killed, and then her two brothers also killed fighting the regime. She was wanted by the brutal dictator, and that’s why she decided to leave to Sudan.

Fleeing to Sudan
Aesha is an Omora minority political activist from Ethiopia. After the killing of her father and two  brothers, she fled to Sudan in 2002. In the capital Khartoum she was organising demonstrations and theatrical acts to explain the plight of her people. After 4 years of hard work, and activities to explain to the Sudan population the ordeal of the Oromo tribes in Ethiopia, and after repeated attacks by the Sudanese police, destroying the theater they used to perform their political activities, she decided to leave to Libya and then to Europe.

The deadly trip to Tripoli
The fate of the groupe of people she was with, was in the hands of the smugglers who are brutal, violent and gruesome individuals. It was in that vast desert that connect Sudan with Lybia, she saw scenes of broken and abandoned vehicles, abandoned luggage by people who were abandoned by those smugglers, it took her two weeks to reach Tripoli.

Total population of Ethiopia: 84.320.987
Oromia population: 31.294.992

Total area of Ethiopia: 1.127.000 square km
Area of Oromia: 284.538 square km

On November 12th, 2015, protests from the Oromo people began. Two years later, it is estimated that hundreds of people have been killed. Latest, it is reported that 700 people were killed at a Oromo festival. Also, it is estimated that thousands have been killed and tens of thousands arrested. The civil war is still very brutal and ongoing.

Sources: Wikipedia, Human Rights Watch

Failed attempt to cross the sea to Europe
In Tripoli after a few months, she found a boat to cross to Europe, but the attempt failed, and she was arrested by the local police and put into prison for 2.5 months. she stayed two years in Tripoli, and then she found a boat to take her to Sicily in Italy. In Italy life was hard, and the Italian government offers no support to asylum seekers: “We lived in the streets and scavenged for our food”, she recalls. In 2010, she fled to Norway. She was pregnant and later, she gave birth to a boy. After the birth of her child, she was sent back to Italy by the Norwegian authorities. Because of the Dublin convention, asylum seekers cannot apply for asylum in more than one country in the European Union and Norway, and Norway is part of that convention.

Hard life for a single mother in Italy
Back in Italy, she was offered no support, and she was living on the streets. It was hard to get food and care for her baby, and he was sick as well as herself. She could not bring up her son in such circumstances. In 2013, she decided to go to Denmark where she was admitted to the hospital for a few days, and a few months later she was sent to the single women center in Kongelund where she has lived ever since.

Life in the center
Her son is now 6 years of age and in very good health, he goes to a Danish school and speaks Danish. She is also doing okay apart from thinking too much about her future in Denmark. She is hoping to get asylum in Denmark. She has no friends in the center to talk to because all the women worry about their own cases. She wakes up at 6.30 to prepare her son to school, breakfast and lunch box. She goes to school to learn Danish. She goes to Kofoeds school for hairdressing course. Her son returns from school at 16:30, and she prepares his dinner and spends some time with him before putting him to bed early.

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