News

    Somali Refugees Face Insecurity Inside Dadaab Refugee Camp

    Alex Pena

    The Dadaab refugee camp has been home to refugees fleeing conflict and famine in Somalia for more than 20 years. But a recent string of attacks in the area has left many feeling just as insecure as in the home they left. Our reporter visited the camp in Kenya.

    Inside Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp, 20-year-old Basharah speaks of violence in Somalia. She fled five months ago to create a better home for her child. Now, she worries Dadaab is not the change she was looking for.

    “Because of security now, there is no difference between here and Somalia," she said.

    The camp is not just an increasingly insecure place for refugees to live. Just 90 kilometers from the Somalia border, militants and criminals have also made Dadaab home.

    Camp resident Ablah Ibrahim says this makes a bad situation worse.

    “There are people who come with guns at night," she said. "They come and steal our food."

    Both Basharah and Ablah live in a section of the camp where two Spanish aid workers were kidnapped in October of last year. They worked for Doctors Without Borders and they are still missing.

    Vittorio Opizzi is a field coordinator for the organization and has been working under the new security conditions for the past five months.

    “The security situation poses us in a dilemma, [eh] of course having the necessity to adapt our way of working without exposing our team to unnecessary risk, but on the other side to keep our services going," said Opizzi.

    They have continued to work in the hospital and other parts of the camp. But, in this section, they have left and so have some of the refugees - including Amina Abdi Ali.

    “Some people have left the insecurity here. They’ve gone back to Somalia," she said.

    The camp leader, Ali Noor Hassan, has also become frustrated with the lack of police protection in his section.

    “This camp is large, and we only have one police post here, and it’s very far from here," he said. "We just wish for them to bring law and order.”

    Despite the threats Kenya faces from elements inside Dadaab, Kenya’s police spokesperson, Erick Kiraithe, says police have already exhausted their resources on the camp.  It is the most policed region in rural Kenya.

    “The constitution of police in those camps is too high," said Kiraithe. "For us, abnormally high. But because of the complexity,  the kind of people who end up in the camps,  then certainly it requires much closer police surveillance.”

    There are currently 300 police officers operating in the camp of nearly half-a-million refugees. They’re fighting both criminals and elements of the terrorist group al-Shabab who have infiltrated the camp.

    And, for the refugees living here, unless they return home to Somalia, they will continue to face these insecurities in the world’s largest refugee camp.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora