Somali parents in London send their children back to war-torn East African country because they say it is safer than the crime-hit capital
Hundreds of British parents are sending their teenage children back to East Africa to avoid the knife crime epidemic that has struck London and seen 51 murders this year.
And the teenagers say they feel safer there, despite the Foreign and Commonwealth office advising against all travel to Somalia and warning against the threat of terrorism across Kenya.
One Somali mother, Amina, was interviewed on the ‘s Victoria Derbyshire programme and told the harrowing story of how her 15-year-old son was stabbed four times, just 17 days after he returned from a year-long stay in their homeland.
She said: ‘They damaged his bladder, his kidneys, his liver. He‘s got permanent damage.
‘He was safer there [in Somaliland] than he was here, 100 per cent more safe than in London.‘
Last year the Foreign Office named Somalia the 13th most dangerous country in the world due to its constant threat of terrorism.
And yet two in five Somalian families in London are sending their children home to avoid the knife crime epidemic hitting the capital, according to the mayor of Islington.
London vs Mogadishu: Murder rates
Somalian parents living in London are sending their children back to their home country even though the murder rates in its capital, Mogadishu, are far worse.
Based on the most recent data, Mogadishu saw 1,376 murders in 2017, whereas London saw just less than a tenth of that number at 129.
With a population of 2.425million, Mogadishu‘s murder rate is 56.75 per 100,000 people.
However, with a population of 8.825million London‘s murder rate is 1.46 per 100,000.
While the figures should speak for themselves, past incidents may indicate that young men from East Africa are more at risk of being killed in London.
One mother, Fowsiya Abdi, 48, has lost two sons and a nephew to stabbings in London in the past two years.
Britain‘s latest crime statistics
Mayor Rakhia Ismail, a mother of four who came to London as a Somalian refugee, said that parents are making the drastic decision because they believe it will save their child‘s life.
So far this year 100 people have been stabbed to death in the UK.
According to the , eight per cent of the victims were of Somali heritage.
Earlier this morning a man in his 30s was stabbed to death in London, sparking the capital‘s 51st murder probe this year.
The most recent crime statistics show that there are two killings every day on Britain‘s streets – the highest level in a decade.
A mentor of young Somali men in London, Jamal Hassan, explained on the that parents will do anything to protect their child.
He said: ‘If it means that child doesn‘t finish school, college, university or he will not have a good job by the time you come for them the future is not really important.
‘What is important is that child‘s life.‘
Yusuf, a 21-year-old boy who grew up in London that did not want to be identified, told Mr Hassan that he moved to Nairobi because he was seeing people get stabbed ‘every other day‘.
He said: ‘There are people in my neighbourhood, someone who I really knew, who lost his life.‘
Ms Ismail said: ‘Does the parent wait for her child to be killed?
‘Or does the parent take a decision – quite a drastic decision – to take him all the way back to wherever that child is from originally?‘
One mother who sent her child to Africa in a bid to avoid London‘s knife crime said she can now sleep at night knowing that the police sirens she hears have nothing to do with her son.
London‘s latest stabbing comes just two days after a 23-year-old was knifed multiple times in Tower Hamlets at 4.30pm in the afternoon.
He was the 50th victim so far this year – and it was the eighth murder in the capital this month as Britain struggles to get to grips with a knife epidemic.
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LONDON‘S MURDERS IN 2019
Where the 49 murders in the capital so far this year have been committed
- Jan 1: Charlotte Huggins, 32, Camberwell
- Jan 1: Tudor Simionov, 33, Mayfair
- Jan 4: Simbiso Aretha Moula, 39, Rainham
- Jan 6: Sarah Ashraf, 35, Isle of Dogs
- Jan 7: Jayden Moody, 14, Waltham Forest
- Jan 11: Asma Begum, 31, Canning Town
- Jan 27: Kamil Malysz, 34, Acton
- Jan 29: Nedim Bilgin, 17, Islington
- Feb 4: Carl Thorpe, 46, Highgate
- Feb 5: Lejean Richards, 19, Battersea
- Feb 10: Dennis Anderson, 39, East Dulwich
- Feb 18: Bright Akinlele, 22, Camden
- Feb 19: Brian Wieland, 69, Chingford
- Feb 21: Glendon Spence, 23, Brixton
- Feb 22: Kamali Gabbidon-Lynck, 19, Wood Green
- Feb 25: David Lopez-Fernandez, 38, Tower Hamlets
- Feb 26: Che Morrison, 20, Ilford
- Mar 1: Jodie Chesney, 17, Harold Hill
- Mar 2: Elize Linda Stevens, 50, Hendon
- Mar 2: Jolia Bogdan, 3 months, Croydon
- Mar 3: Unnamed man, 37, Soho
- Mar 6: Laureline Garcia-Bertaux, 34, Kew
- Mar 6: David Martinez, 26, Leyton
- Mar 7: Antoinette Donnegan, 52, Battersea
- Mar 7: Ayub Hassan, 17, West Kensington
- Mar 16: Nathaniel Armstrong, 29, Fulham
- Mar 22: Abdirashid Mohamoud, 17, Isleworth
- Mar 24: Ravi Katharkamar, 54, Pinner
- Mar 27: Ramane Richard Wiggan, 25, West Norwood
- Mar 28: Zahir Visiter, 25, Regents Park
- Mar 29: Gavin Garraway, 40, Clapham
- Apr 1: Calvin Bungisa, 22, Kentish Town
- Apr 2: Hubert Hall, 60, Walthamstow
- Apr 7: Annabelle Lancaster, 22, Enfield
- Apr 8: Noore Bashir Salad, 22, Manor Park
- Apr 16: Gopinath Kasivisuwanathan, 27, Wembley
- Apr 17: Steven Brown, 47, Stoke Newington
- Apr 23: Meshak Williams, 21, Harlesden
- Apr 26: Mihrican Mustafa, 38, Canning Town
- Apr 26: Henriett Szucs, 34, Canning Town
- Apr 26: Amy Parsons, 35, Whitechapel
- Apr 26: Joshua White, 29, Hackney
- May 1: Tashaun Aird, 15, Hackney
- May 5: Constantin Sin, 51, Leytonstone
- May 5: Junior Urugbezi-Edwards, 18, Southwark
- May 11: Erik San-Filippo, 23, Islington
- May 16: Barrington Davis, 54, Lewisham
- May 23: Unnamed man, 60s, Kensington
- May 23: Unnamed woman, 60s, Kensington
- May 26: Unnamed woman, 23, Tower Hamlets
- May 28: Unnamed man, 30s, Newham
The Somali mother who lost three boys to knife crime in London
Fowsiya Abdi, 48, has lost two sons and a nephew in the past two years.
All three were stabbed to death on the streets of London.
Her son, aspiring accountant Sadiq Adan Mohamed, 20, rang her as he lay dying, leaving her a voicemail message begging for help, saying, ‘I‘m wounded,‘ just moments after he was attacked by a gang of four wielding a samurai sword.
Mrs Abdi called for anyone carrying a blade to be ‘taken off the streets‘. She spoke of her agony after her elder son and nephew, both 20, were also killed within a mile of each other in London in separate attacks.
Last September Mrs Abdi‘s elder son Mohamed Aadam was knifed to death outside a takeaway. In 2013 his cousin Mohamed Abdullahi was also fatally stabbed in the heart in a case of mistaken identity by a gang.
She said: ‘I don‘t know who killed my son, I do not know why. But in September Mohamed was killed and now Sadiq has been killed, and four years ago my nephew was too. They were all 20.
‘It‘s unacceptable, I am now so worried for my other children, they all live in the same postcode. Sadiq was an excellent boy, he was very close to me and his family.‘
Why was Somalia named the 13th most dangerous country in the world last year?
Last year the Foreign Office named Somalia the 13th most dangerous country in the world.
They have advised against all travel to Somalia and Somaliland.
They said: ‘Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Somalia.
‘There is a high threat of kidnap throughout Somalia.‘
Somalia was plunged into civil war in 1991 when dictator Mohammed Siad Barre was ousted after 22 years in power.
Rival warlords fought through the decades-long civil war.
Pirates plagued Somalia between 2005-2012 and were only eradicated with the threat of an international naval operation.
The Islamist Union of Islamic Courts defeated warlords in the country‘s capital, Mogadishu, and took over in 2006.
They were then ousted by Ethiopian forces until 2007 when a peacekeeping force, Amisom, deployed troops.
A breakaway terrorist group, Al-Shabab, then advanced into central Somalia and prompted an intervention from Kenyan forces.
The country‘s first general election in 45 years happened in 2012 when the country‘s first formal parliament in more than 20 years was sworn in.
Although the country is becoming more stable there is still a threat of terrorist activity from breakaway extremist groups.
In 2017 the country saw its biggest terror attack when a bomb explosion in Mogadishu killed more than 300 people.
Somaliland is considered to be an autonomous region of Somalia.
It declared independence in 1991 after Mohammed Siad Barre was ousted as dictator.
Although it hasn‘t seen any terrorist acts since 2008, when suicide bombers attacked the presidential palace and Ethiopian consulate, the Foreign Office still advises against travelling there.