Sudan: Tigray war
It was the evening of november the 9th, 2020. Johanes had walked up the hills overlooking Humera to enjoy the view. His hometown located north of Ethiopia, was gleaming. The weather was cool. Johanes met his friends and lit a joint. It was all smooth. Johanes was about to graduate from textile ingeneering university.
Suddently, a missile crossed the sky over Humera, and exploded on the city. "I can't believe it." Johanes cleared off to find his family. Explosions were resonating around him. Cell networks got cut out. The student was petrified. His mother and sisters were nowhere to be found. When he bumped into his father, the two men ran away among the crowd of civilians escaping towards the soudanese border.
Johanes hadn't told me his story straightaway. I assembled the pieces of his life after we had finished our interviews, and before he was about to translate them. In Hamdayet, Sudan, Johanes had become my interpreter because he was speaking english. I had arrived to tell the story of the Ethiopian Tigrean refugees who had fled the fighing between the governmental army and the Tigrean rebels.
When I had reached the Ethiopian-Sudanese border marked by the Tekeze river, I had felt that most of the Tigrean refugees would probably never come home. But they hadn't realized it yet. They had entered an adminstrative journey: registration, counting, queueing for a blanket, potable water, and food. They were bording buses travelling to a new desert camp. I joined them in the beginnings of their new life. In Um Rakuba camp, Tigrean refugees came to realize that their exile might be everlasting. They had met up with other refugees who had fled Ethiopia 35 years before. Being a refugee is not an easy path. They are over 80 millions in the world.
"Do you think we will come home soon?" Asked Johanes. I couldn't lie to him.