Expats or refugees, which is it?
Relative peace in Mogadishu is bringing back Somalis to rebuild their war torn country and it makes me laugh—we call them “expatriates” in this Voice of America story while the UN High Commissioner for Refugees is planning today in Geneva to bring more Somali “refugees” to the West.
As I said in a previous post on Somalia and the arrival of peace there—we should have a repatriation project to encourage those well-educated and well-fed former Somali refugees to return to their homeland and fix it!
Here is Voice of America (Hammers replace bullets as Mogadishu rebuilds):
MOGADISHU — The emergence of peace in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, has shaped the city for the better, giving it a new face. Residents are returning to and restoring their bullet-ridden homes and businesses after years of living in makeshift camps scattered in and out of the city.
The sound of hammers has replaced the sound of machine guns in the streets of Mogadishu. Construction is going on everywhere for new homes, hotels and shopping malls. Businesses are thriving, government institutions are being renovated and building owners are reclaiming their property from squatters.
Hassan Sankay Ali, a sawmill owner in a district known as Kilometer Five, said there has been high demand for building materials, and due to that demand prices have risen.
People are coming out to buy building materials, Ali said. Most of the people coming to buy are either building new houses or renovating existing homes.
The economic boom is fueled by expatriates flocking back and investing millions of dollars. This provides jobs for thousands of young militiamen eager to get out of the killing business.
Mohamud Hareed Dagey came from London six months ago and opened a new restaurant near Lido Beach, and he also plans to build a hotel. He said more Somalis living abroad must return home to build the economy.