News / Africa

    Fleeing Conflict, Somali Refugees Strain Ethiopia

    Somali refugees line up to register at one of the refugee camps in the southeastern Dollo Ado region of Ethiopia on July 7, 2011. Up to 2,000 Somali refugees arrive daily at the registration office.
    Somali refugees line up to register at one of the refugee camps in the southeastern Dollo Ado region of Ethiopia on July 7, 2011. Up to 2,000 Somali refugees arrive daily at the registration office.
    Lisa Schlein
    The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) reports the Dollo Ado complex in southeastern Ethiopia cannot keep pace with the continued influx of new refugees from Somalia.

    Last week, its population surpassed the 170,000 mark.  This, says U.N. refugee spokesman Andrej Mahecic, makes Dollo Ado the world's second largest refugee complex after the Dadaab site in Kenya.

    "Although the rate of arrivals at Dollo Ado has slowed this year, people are continuing to flee conflict and insecurity in southern and central parts of Somalia," Mahecic said. "Many cite fear of harassment and forced recruitment by armed groups who still control large rural areas of Somalia... Their most urgent needs are emergency shelter, food and essential aid items," he said. 

    Ethiopia increasingly appears to be the destination of choice for Somali refugees, according to the UNHCR.  It notes more than 25,000 of the estimated 62,000 Somalis who fled to countries in the region between January and the end of September headed for Ethiopia.

    More than a million Somali refugees are already scattered across the Horn of Africa.  To fully understand the magnitude of the Somali refugee crisis, one must realize that in the past decade, only the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq forced more than a million people to flee their homes.

    More than half a million Somali refugees are in Kenya, while Ethiopia now hosts 214,000.  The refugees are living in five overcrowded camps in Dollo Ado. A sixth site is being set up between the town of Kole and Kobe camp, some 54 kilometers north of Dollo Ado town, said Mahecic.

    "The cost of the opening of the new site, setting up basic services and infrastructure including medical, education and warehousing facilities, is more than $5 million," he said. "We are seeking support from donors and partners, including resources for NGO [non-governmental organization] partners who would be working in the camp.  For the initial phase, we urgently need $1.5 million simply for the site preparation, land demarcation and setting up basic infrastructure including bore holes, setting up water points, emergency clinic, latrines, etceteras."  

    A long-awaited 1,600-meter all-weather airstrip recently opened in Dollo Ado, Mahecic added, calling the development "great news" as it significantly upgrades access for humanitarian staff and transportation of cargo.  Until now, aid agencies were forced to travel on poor roads, which severely delayed emergency interventions and urgent medical evacuations.

    With the opening of the new airstrip, Mahecic said humanitarian agencies will now be able to deliver relief items to the refugees even in adverse weather conditions.

    You May Like

    No More Space Race for US, Rivalry Gives Way to Collaboration

    What began as a struggle for dominance in space between two world powers has changed entirely to one of joint efforts

    Beijing Warns Critics Over South China Sea Dispute

    Official warns critics that the more they challenge China's position regarding disputed territories in one of world’s busiest waterways, the more it will push back

    Move Over Millennials, Here Comes iGeneration

    How the first generation to be born, almost literally, with a smartphone in hand, might change America

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020i
    X
    Ramon Taylor
    May 05, 2016 10:05 PM
    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020

    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Child Labor in Afghanistan Remains a Problem

    With war still raging in Afghanistan, the country also faces the problem of child labor as families put their school-age children to work to help make ends meet. But, thanks to VOA's Afghan Service, two families whose children had been working in a brick-making factory - to earn their livings and pay off family debts - now have a new lease on life. Zabihullah Ghazi reports.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora