Somalis in Malta hope for a new beginning
Some 250 Somali refugees in Malta have welcomed the recent elections in their home country and the appointment of President Hassan Sheik Mahmoud, saying it is a sign of hope for a new beginning.
The UNHCR said the refugees held a celebration in Floriana on Saturday to mark the developments in their country.
"Most of the Somali refugees who have arrived in Malta are relatively young people who have only known the brutality of war and the daily terror that violence brings with it. But on Saturday one Somali elder told the audience that another reality is possible," UNHCR Malta said.
“The Somali community in Malta has now understood what peace is,” a migrant said. “Peace is happiness and life.”
“We are here today to express our solidarity with the new government and we sincerely hope that it will bring lasting peace, unity, justice and respect for human rights which we have been dreaming about for decades.”
Somalia has been without an effective central government since 1991 and its four million people lack food and security. There are around 1.46 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and thousands have fled the country in search of safety. In Kenya alone there are almost half a million Somali refugees.
Somalis also constitute the largest immigrant community in Malta.