Sharp increase in number of refugees entering Kenya

Sun, 2008-08-31 19:56 by admin

More than 25,000 Somali Refugees Fled Kenya Since Beginning of 2008

Instability in southern Somalia has led to a sharp increase in the number of refugees entering Kenya.

Read the complete article

At least 25,000 Somali refugees have arrived in Kenya since the beginning of the year to join 130,000 others living in refugee camps since 1991 in the arid Dadaab area in the northeastern province, said officials.

There are only a handful of wells to provide water, food is carefully rationed by the World Food Programme, and most people live in flimsy huts made from bits of twig bound together with string and covered in plastic sheeting from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
The land is flat, and the shrubs are almost exclusively thorn bushes with spines as long and hard as nails. And yet still the Somalis come, at a rate of at least 200 a day.

Those thronging the fence are hoping to jump the queue for registration as refugees - a status that gives them a fighting chance at a relatively safe and stable life denied to them at home in Somalia.

Bitter fighting In Mogadishu

Take Dahawa Mohammed Noor. Back home in Mogadishu, she had a good life as a wife, a teacher and a mother of nine. But the fighting between the Islamist insurgents on the one hand and Ethiopian forces backing the Transitional Federal Government on the other, has grown ever more bitter over the past few months.

Dahawa and her family managed, but only just. She and her husband struggled to keep their children fed as the cost of food more than trebled over the past six months. But Dahawa and her family were determined to stay - Mogadishu was their home, after all. Then the fighting drifted towards their corner of the city. In one bloody, terrifying night, Dahawa said soldiers raided their neighbourhood. With tears streaming down her face, she was unable to explain exactly whathappened, except that her husband and five of her children were all killed.

With the surviving members of her family, Dahawa fled Mogadishu, and spent three weeks trekking and hitching rides through Somalia's western desert to the Kenyan border and the relative security of Dadaab. Dahawa's story is tragic, but it is hardly unusual. …

Read the complete article