News / Africa

Somalia Fighting Forces Thousands of Refugees Into Kenya

Somalia Fighting Forces Thousands of Refugees Into Kenya
Somalia Fighting Forces Thousands of Refugees Into Kenya
Michael Onyiego

Refugees are pouring across the Kenyan border as fighting between the Somali government and rebel group al-Shabab rages across the war torn country.

The Somali government’s recent push to eliminate al-Qaida linked insurgents is spilling into Kenya, as fighting continues along the border.

On February 24, the Transitional Federal Government launched a countrywide offensive to oust Islamist insurgent group al-Shabab from its strongholds across southern and central Somalia. The group controls much of the region including large parts of the capital, Mogadishu. The offensive was launched with help from the joint United Nations - African Union force AMISOM, as well as support from the Ethiopian Military.

At the end of February, fighting spilled into the Kenyan town of Mandera, near the border with Ethiopia and Somalia. While the majority of the fighting has taken place on the Somali side, civilian deaths have been reported as stray bullets hit innocent bystanders.

Mandera is largely quiet now, but Kenya Red Cross Director Abbas Gullet said Friday the situation has not yet returned to normal.

“At least on the Kenyan side of the border there is relative calm and peace although people are tense because of the ongoing fighting on the other side that continues every evening and every night and early mornings," said Gullet.

Kenya has denied reports of Somali soldiers using Kenyan territory to launch attacks on insurgent forces and all reports indicate the fighting has moved back into Somalia. But as fighting continues, Kenya is bracing to receive the brunt of Somali civilians fleeing the violence.

Over the past week, Mandera has seen a massive influx of Somali refugees, largely from Bula Hawa, just across the Somali border. While not all the refugees have been accounted for, Gullet estimates as many as 20,000 have fled.

“Kenya Red Cross has been granted permission by the government to set up a refugee camp," he said. "Until last night we had registered about 11,170 individuals. There is more being registered today.”

The Red Cross is currently providing those in need with basic shelter, food and health services. The group plans to launch an appeal next week for assistance to provide more permanent accommodation for the displaced.

Kenya has a long history of receiving Somali refugees due to the Horn of African nation’s prolonged instability. It has been 20 years since Somalia had a functioning government. Dadaab, in northeastern Kenya, currently hosts three refugee camps housing an estimated 300,000 Somali refugees.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid