For over two decades, getting any form of official identification for Somali citizens was done through the back alleys of the infamous Bakara market, a system known as “Abdallah Shideeye” or the counterfeiter. Without a functioning government and institutions during the two decades of civil war, many Somalis had to acquire fake identity cards and passports to travel as they sought refugee status in neighboring countries.

As Keymedia reports, the country now has a functional government with institutions working at protecting the Somali identity.

At this centre in Mogadishu, hundreds of Somalis brave the scorching sun, queuing to get their new national identity cards.

Setup up by the regional administration in December last year and with funding from US Aid through the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the center sees traffic of between 200 and 500 people each day.


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