African Refugees

Post-Colonial and Cold War conflicts – often driven by the West and Russia – ravaged many African nations and communities from the 1960s to the 1990s, even after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Whilst most refugees remained within Africa, some received a welcome in Wales:

Uganda, 1972

Ugandan Refugees on the Platform at Tonfanau, Gwynedd

On August 5th 1972, Ugandan President, dictator Idi Amin issued a chilling message that would turn lives upside down forever. Thousands of Asians were to be expelled from Uganda, given 90 days to get out – leaving everything behind. In all, almost 30,000 Ugandan Asians came to the UK and went to 12 resettlement camps nationwide. 1,000 were taken in by the small Gwynedd community of Tonfanau on the Snowdonia Coast.

40th Anniversary for Ugandan Asian refugees in Wales (ITV, 2012)

Somalia, 1988

Wales Somaliland Link representatives with Julie Morgan MP

Cardiff, Newport and Swansea have some of the UK’s oldest multicultural communities, from the 1880s when opening of the Suez Canal opened coal trading by sea with the bunker ports of what was then called the British Somaliland Protectorate and the Gulf of Aden (now Yemen).

Today, the deep and established communities of 6th generation descendents have not only offered sanctuary to refugees fleeing the Somali Civil War – which has ravaged the failed state of Somalia since 1988 – but have also played a pro-active role in supporting peace, stable government, development and recognition of modern Somaliland since 1991.

Heritage of Somali Communities in Wales – Youtube