Author: Mohammed A. Gaas, May 18 2016 - I came home from work to find my wife, visibly worried, standing at the gate. She had news about my teenage nephew.
"Abdirisaq hasn't come home yet. Something must have happened to him. He’s never been out beyond 6pm", she stressed as she flexed her fingers.
I tried to calm her but as the evening progressed, I had no choice but to go out and look for him. The first place I checked was his friend’s home, only to find out that his friend was missing too.
I checked the hospital and the central police station in vain.
It was now approaching midnight and my search was unfruitful - he was nowhere to be found. We spent the long night calling relatives and thinking of places he might have gone.
Our biggest fear was that he had decided to migrate, like so many young men in our community, and was on his way to Ethiopia. The practice of illegal migration is known here as ‘tahrib’.
Many young men like him dream of destinations in Europe, Canada, Australia and America, hopeful of a better and brighter life.
The next day, I left at dawn accompanied by a police officer, driving towards one of the main migration points at the border town of Toog Wajale.
On arrival we were told by an immigration official that he suspected my nephew had already left with people smugglers.
I tried to persuade him to accompany us in our search.