The Hargeisa Holocaust (Somaliland’s Forgotten Genocide …..)
One of the most brutal parts of the genocidal campaign was the destruction of Hargeisa, the largest city in northern Somalia. In May of 1988, Barre’s regime sent in fighter jets to level the city. The destruction of Hargeisa was so total that it earned the nickname “the Dresden of Africa.” Bombing missions and ground troops attacks killed more than 40,000 people. Burao, the third largest city in Somalia at the time and the second principal city in northern Somalia, was razed. The relentless violence against Isaaq civilians in 1988 resulted in the world’s largest refugee crisis. More than 300,000 refugees fled to Ethiopia, most of them arriving in the small border town of Harta Sheikh in Ethiopia, which became the largest refugee camp from 1988 until it closed in 2004.