News / Africa

Kenya Petitions AU, Humanitarian Groups to Aid Somali Refugees

A newly arrived Somali refugee child awaits medical examinations at the Dadaab refugee camp, near the Kenya-Somalia border, July 23, 2011
A newly arrived Somali refugee child awaits medical examinations at the Dadaab refugee camp, near the Kenya-Somalia border, July 23, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Orwa Ojode, Kenya’s deputy internal affairs minister

Peter Clottey

Kenya’s deputy internal affairs minister Orwa Ojode says his government has petitioned the African Union (AU) and humanitarian organizations. He says Nairobi wants them to consider opening a new refugee camp in a “third country.”

Last week, the U.N. said famine had struck in two provinces of southern Somalia.  Drought is widespread throughout the country, and hunger is growing.  The world body says nearly four million people are “in crisis.”  Over 135,000 have left the country for camps in Ethiopia and Kenya.

Ojode said Kenya is overwhelmed by the influx.

He said Kenya has proposed the construction of a new refugee camp inside Somalia, which he said could be, located about four kilometers from its border with Kenya.

Kenya has built three camps for Somali refugees in Dadaab but has refused to expand them or build more. The government contends the camps lead to environmental degradation.

“If you get environmental experts to come to Dadaab, they will definitely advise on the closure of that particular camp,” said Ojode. “We would request that you [the AU and the international community] to relocate some of the refugees to a third country.”

He also said the AU peacekeeping force in Somalia (AMISOM) is capable of protecting the refugee camps there.

“The reason why we are adamant that we do not go on constructing other camps is because … a majority of them [refugees] are looking for food and medicine,” said Ojode.  “We think the international community will be able to supply those basic necessities to them within Somalia.”

Ojode said Kenya is concerned hard-line Somali Islamic insurgent groups including al-Shabab could infiltrate refugee camps in Kenya, and cause instability.

“The fear that the al-Shababs of Somalia, the al-Qaedas of Somalia, might also find ways of coming into Kenya looking for food and eventually having negative activities within Kenya,” said Ojode. “We are not ready to have that kind of insecurity in a population of 40 million…That is our biggest fear.”

He said Kenya will continue to tighten security around its border with Somalia.

“Al-Shabab is not a Kenyan affair; it is also a global affair. We need assistance…. Security is our first priority,” said Ojode.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL 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.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid