We met 40-year old Samira in the health centre at the camp in Darrech. She was accompanied by her sister Mutera and a friend, Asha. She had a distant expression, as if thinking about something far outside the room. Why did she come to Darrech we asked?
“I come from a very tiny village called Tasha in North Sharia. It was early in the morning just over two years ago when we heard shouting and shooting outside our tuku (house). We looked out and saw men wearing police uniforms riding horses and camels. They were burning houses. My husband went outside holding our five-year old son, Walid. He was immediately shot several times. One of the shots hit Walid’s leg.”
“I was very frightened but my son was still alive so I reached out and took him from his dead father arms. Then I ran away with my other children. The first day we stayed hiding in the trees. We knew we had to move on, but we did not know where to go and Walid was injured.”
“My children didn’t know what was happening and were constantly asking questions. For me, the only option I could think of was to walk to Nyala and to try and get some help. So we did. I walked for three days, with two babies on my back and Walid in my arms. My sister was with us and she helped with the other children. I later heard that some friends buried my husband.”
“We had no food and – even worse – no water. It was hard to keep going. And then some farmers helped us. I didn’t cry at the time. My eyes were dry and I couldn’t feel anything. I was just exhausted.”
“When we arrived here, we were brought to the hospital. My child is now an invalid - but we are alive.”
As she finishes her story, the tears start to run down her face.