Blog Post

Refugees from the Paradise Island of Zanzibar

July 10, 2012

Over the weekend, I undertook one of the most bizarre journeys imaginable, flying from Nairobi to Mogadishu and then onto the paradise island of Zanzibar. We went on a trip with the UNHCR to cover a story about a group of refugees who fled paradise only to end up living in one of the most dangerous places on earth.
In 2001 more than 2000 people escaped the so called spice islands following a bloody crackdown by the government against opposition supporters and eventually found their way to Mogadishu. They managed to survive throughout the fighting in the city. When the security situation improved and the UNHCR set up operations there, they approached the international refugee organisation and asked for help to return to their homeland. It took 2 years to organise their repatriation and on 6th of July, the first 12 families boarded a plane in Mogadishu to finally take them back to Zanzibar. I went along with my colleague, Kevin Mwachiro. Here it the TV package we filed on this extraordinary story.

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