Refugees fear insecurity in Kenya, return to Somalia

Sat, 2013-01-12 12:19 by admin
Newly arrived Somali refugees line up to wait for the reception center to open at Ifo settlement at Kenya's Dadaab Refugee Camp, situated northeast of the capital Nairobi near the Somali border, September 1, 2011.

by Gabe Josselow

Read the complete article at Voice of America

NAIROBI — Rising insecurity in Kenya's Dadaab refugee camps is prompting hundreds of refugees to return home to Somalia. Residents of the camps say gangs of bandits have made life too difficult for many of those who came to escape war and famine.

The Dadaab refugee camps in northeastern Kenya were supposed to be a sanctuary for Somalis escaping violence and food shortages at home, but in recent years, refugees at the camps have come increasingly under threat.

Abdirisack Mohammed is a journalist and a refugee who has lived in Dadaab for 21 years. He says the insecurity has become particularly bad in Ifo and Ifo 2 camps, which mostly house refugees who fled the famine in Somalia in 2011.

“In fact, when we were interviewing them they were telling us that they faced torture, rape and looting in Dadaab, especially Ifo 2, and that forced them to leave the camps," said Mohammed. "I remember a mother told us she came to refugee camps to get protection, not to get raped and all these sorts of inhumanities.”

Mohammed says bandits have been going around, mostly at night, demanding money and attacking camp residents. …

Read the complete article at Voice of America