A group of tearful parents gathers around every day on the streets of Mogadishu, seeking news of their children and imploring the Somali government for help. It is a scene witnessed in all major towns and cities across the country for more than a year. These are parents in tears, looking for their missing children – soldiers ostensibly sent to train in Eritrea by the Somali government but whose real fate is unknown.

There is the mother who had not seen her two boys for almost two years; there is the disabled father whose only son was said to have died and is looking for a confirmation of his death; there is the distraught mother who thought her two orphaned teenage boys were at school but later realised that they were somehow conscripted into a government training programme and vanished; there is the other mother who fell into depression and has been bedridden for months after she heard the news that her only son died after being shot while trying to escape from a military camp; there is the sister whose missing brother called her hours before he disappeared and was never heard of again.