The Somali refugee crisis is one of the longest-running in the world, with people who have been displaced for more than 20 years.
NEW YORK, United States of America, January 11, 2017 – More than one million Somali refugees who have been displaced from their homes for decades are becoming despondent as they continue to be unable to return home and donor support is growing fatigued, according to the United Nations refugee agency.
“There is a growing sense of helplessness in the camps because people are feeling forgotten,” said Mohamed Abdi Affey, the Special Envoy to the Somali refugee situation for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The Somali refugee crisis is one of the longest-running in the world, with people who have been displaced for more than 20 years. Some one million live in camps throughout the Horn of Africa, while an additional 1.1 million are displaced within Somalia.
“There has been some real progress in Somalia over the past few months, including the successful organization of elections inside the country,” acknowledged the Special Envoy. “What’s needed now is to build up infrastructures across the country so refugees do not suffer when they go back.”
UNHCR is backing a regional summit, led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Eastern Africa, which will take place in March to determine lasting solutions for Somali refugees. A proposed regional response would provide continued protection to 262,000 Somali refugees in a camp in Kenya that has been hosting people for more than 20 years. When a decision was made last year to close the camp, UNHCR lobbied the government with a new plan of action and successfully delayed its closure.
“Nobody wants to be a refugee forever. A regional solution is the most viable solution for the Somali situation,” said Mr. Affey.
Mr. Affey, who previously served as the Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister in Kenya, spoke in Geneva yesterday following a visit to Somalia and to refugee camps in Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda, where 905,060 Somalis live – some since the 1990s. He also visited Yemen last month, where refugees face increasingly desperate conditions in a country torn apart by war.
Because of emergencies elsewhere – particularly in Syria and South Sudan – donors have been unable to continue their support.
“Meanwhile, hunger is growing; meanwhile, frustration is growing; meanwhile, desperation is setting in and people are becoming angry,” reported the Special Envoy.
In addition to dwindling food rations, Mr. Affey said that the ongoing drought in East Africa has led to further complications, including limited access to education and skills training, especially for young people.
“Refugees should be skilled enough, trained to prepare them for an eventual return so that they can participate in the reconstruction of their country. So that they don’t go back after 30 years without skills – within the camps we must create these conditions and possibilities.”
UNHCR began supporting the voluntary return of Somali refugees from Kenya in 2014. Since then, a total of 39,316 have returned. However, Mr. Affey noted that security and socio-economic conditions in many parts of Somalia are not yet where they need to be in order to support large-scale returns. He appealed to the international community to strengthen efforts to build stability in a country that has suffered under more than two decades of armed conflict.
Beginning this month, the UN agency was forced to reduce food ration by half for the refugees’ monthly entitlement, which will only last until the end of February if no further funding received.
NAIROBI, Kenya, December 8, 2016 -Forced to make a new round of cuts in food rations for refugees in Kenya, the World Food Programme (WFP) has appealed urgently for nearly $14 million to feed the 434,000 refugees living in Kenya’s Dadaab and Kakuma camps and in the new Kalobeyei settlement.
“We are appealing to donors to quickly come to the aid of the refugees, who rely on WFP food assistance for survival,” Annalisa Conte, WFP’s Representative and Country Director for Kenya, said in a news release.
WFP currently provides food relief to refugees in Kenya’s Dadaab and Kakuma camps, as well as the newly established Kalobeyei settlement. This assistance comes as cash transfers and food distributions. For those most vulnerable, the agency also offers specialized fortified foods to prevent malnutrition.
“WFP immediately requires $13.7 million to cover the food and cash needs for the refugees between December and April,” stressed Ms. Conte.
Beginning this month, the UN agency was forced to reduce food ration by half for the refugees’ monthly entitlement, which will only last until the end of February if no further funding received.
While cash transfers have not yet been cut, they are due to be exhausted by the end of January. If the agency is forced to discontinue the cash transfers, however, it will specifically affect 7,500 refugees in the recently launched Kalobeyei settlement, as the only form of food assistance they receive is cash.
“A generous and critically important $22 million shipment of food from the United States is en route to Dadaab and Kakuma and should be available for distribution by May,” Ms. Conte said, while warning: “But we have a dangerous gap in funding until then.”
She further reiterated that without an urgent response from other donors, WFP will completely run out of food for more than 400,000 people in Dadaab and Kakuma at the end of February.
“Why is UN not paying much attention to member states that are clearly sliding into turmoil and crisis and instead is majorly involved in the after effects of Humanitarian assistance. It doesn’t make sense. We can’t wait until it’s too.” – Francis Mwijukye [35th Inter Parliamentary Union- Geneva: High level United Nations Management committee Meeting on Development assistance, Humanitarian assistance, peace keeping operations and Mormative treaty related knowledge, 26.10.2016]
We are living in a brave new world where the world order is switching… its twists and turns, the morning dew disappears and the sun kisses the earth yet again. The last few days the world has changed. Because Nations and States have made decisions that matters; they are not only talking, but now they are acting on it.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) of The Hague is under fire. After Burundi, South Africa and Gambia are thinking of pulling out of the International Court that access the genocides and crimes against humanity.
With the escalated conflicts, the stories of lives doing whatever they can flee nations, this is happening from the internal conflict inside Burundi, Burundians refugees are now in Tanzania, Rwanda and in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This because the President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to stay in power for a third term; when the Constitution of Burundi said the Executive only could have two!
The same with the internal fighting between SPLM/A VS. SPLM/A-IO in South Sudan; where there is battle of power between President Salva Kiir and former FVP Dr. Riek Machar. Because of the conflict in South Sudan the civilian refugees have fled to Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Ethiopia. Now MONUSCO got SPLM/A-IO and Dr. Machar from the DRC to Khartoum earlier this year.
In Kenya this is happening: while the Somali Refugees are now being sent home from Kenya under the command of the government there. This happening while opposition in all of the countries mentioned has optionally torturing, arresting, detaining and even harassing them if needed be. The Kenyan Government using the fear of Al-Shabaab to send the refugees away and also hustle more donor-funding from the United States. That happens because the Jubilee apparently didn’t’ earn enough coins on NYS, Eurobonds or whatever scheme they had in play at the time.
In this New World order that is arranged while the Government are using their Security Organizations to silence opposition. While the Nation with the African Union (AU) Headquarters and are the leader of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Ethiopian Government even uses helicopters, artillery and soldiers to kill civilians in the regions of Amhara and Oromo people. This is a Nation who has soldiers in Peacekeeping mission all around the Continent, but using all kind of force to oppress their own.
So in this place and time with more totalitarian regimes, with more leaders not leaving offices and with less political freedom; the International Justice is winding down. The rule of law internationally right now is losing its power, while the United Nation’s negations and diplomatic missions like the Inter-Burundian Dialogue under former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mpaka hasn’t gone anywhere. While the dialogue between UN’s own Edem Kodjo hasn’t created anything resembling a General Election run by the CENI in the DRC. That is because President Joseph Kabila has no plan of leaving office without using force on his own. This is happening while the bloodshed continues in the Kivu’s, while the MONUSCO and FARDC watching it in silence. ADF-NALU and the Mayi-Mayi continues as well together with the Ex-FARDC Gen. Muhindo Akili Mundos has also blood on his hands. This is happening while the Rwandan State still can export high-grade minerals that they cannot even produce or has mines to extract on their soil. This has been happening since the first war in the late 1990s.
So the New World Order is more of the same… the same kind of violence, the other change is the new brave leaders who defy the International Order. They don’t want to follow it when they feel it is unfair. United Nations (UN) might be next or the World Trade Organization (WTO) or the World Health Organization (WHO). As they might respect the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank (World Bank) because they need their financial stability or the financial stimulus that backs the budgets and aspects the government needs to pay their elites, businesses and whatever it takes to keep the regimes a-float.
This is the grand issues… the human rights violations, killings and detentions… so the Presidents and their Administrations are now afraid of the ICC. They are worried that their actions be served by the Court and they have to answer for their crimes. Doesn’t matter if this court exists or not; the UN should put up Tribunals after the Internal Conflicts like they done in the past. Than it is not direct prosecutions or charges that the ICC has put on Executives or any in the inner-circle of ruling regimes as they know their using illegal forces to silence their people and citizens. Though the feelings from African Nations that they are feeling threaten by the ICC and their actions as they are not going-in on Europeans or Americans in general, while African Generals and Politicians are hand-picked.
I’m just waiting for the honourable nations of Morocco, Mauritania, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, Togo, Guinea, and Equatorial Guinea, and so on… There are more that will make decisions to leave, as even Cote d’Ivoire might revoke their place.
There are fears on the horizon, the ICC is losing its standing, the international community better listen as the men who are greedy on power and resources take it in these days by any means and hope to get away with it, while their people suffer. The only differences at our time are that information is not forgotten or not told. It’s there for those who listen; time to consider and rethink the World Order and where we want to be. Peace.
NAIROBI, Kenya, October 13, 2016 – As the announced closure of the world’s largest refugee camp draws closer, and thousands begin the return to war-ravaged Somalia, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is calling for other alternatives to be urgently considered by the Government of Kenya and the UNHCR, supported by donor countries.
In a report released today by MSF, ‘Dadaab to Somalia: Pushed Back Into Peril,’ more than eight out of ten refugees surveyed say they do not want to return, with the main concerns cited including fear of forced recruitment into armed groups, sexual violence and the non-availability of healthcare. 
In the report, MSF also highlights the severe medical consequences of such a massive return.
“It is clear that refugee camps are not the best way to manage a protracted 25-year crisis but closing them now without offering other durable solutions pushes them back to a conflict zone, where medical care is dangerously absent,” says Bruno Jochum, MSF General Director. “This decision is yet another blight on refugee protection globally, where again we see total failure in providing safe haven for people in danger. The UN itself has recently declared that five million are at risk of hunger inside Somalia. Sending back even more people to suffer is both inhumane and irresponsible.”
Somalia: an acute lack of medical care
In Dagahaley, one of the five camps which make up Dadaab, MSF medical teams have seen children arriving from Somalia having not been vaccinated against a range of preventable diseases, a telling indication of a health system torn apart by more than two decades of war where even basic care is barely existent. Pregnant women will have minimal care, putting their own lives and their unborn babies under threat. People with chronic medical conditions are also at risk – whether they are diabetics who need life-saving insulin, or people with hypertension who need ongoing treatment.
Additionally, mental health patients are in danger. In Dagahaley, 70% of MSF’s mental health patients are on medication. “If a patient with psychosis is forced to come off their medication, their cognitive function and behaviour development goes into reverse. Stuck in a country where mental health services are basically non-existent would put their lives in severe jeopardy,” says Liesbeth Aelbrecht, Head of Mission for MSF in Kenya.
A call to Kenya, the UNHCR and donor countries: other solutions urgently required
Eighty-six percent of surveyed refugees in Dagahaley do not want to go back to Somalia. Fears around insecurity were acute with nearly all – males and females – stating that the risk of sexual violence is high. MSF is therefore questioning the ‘voluntary’ nature of the returns that the UNHCR is helping facilitate.
“The fears that the refugees tell us about are real,” says Aelbrecht. “It is crucial that any return is voluntary, and refugees must have all necessary information about the services and conditions which will meet them in Somalia.”
MSF reiterates that setting up Dadaab style camps across the border is shifting responsibility and abandoning the protection of refugees. Other more durable solutions, such as smaller camps in Kenya, increased resettlement to third countries, or integration of refugees into Kenyan communities, should be urgently considered. Additionally, MSF appeals to the international community to share the responsibility with the Government of Kenya.
“It is unacceptable that – without any other solution being offered – thousands are essentially being pushed back into conflict and acute crisis: the very conditions they fled,” concludes Aelbrecht.”Kenya should not shoulder this burden alone. Funding from donor countries needs to be directed to providing sustained assistance in the country of refuge, not to supporting what will essentially be a forced return to a warzone.”
MSF does not accept any government funding for its project in Dadaab – all funding is provided by private donors.
MSF first started working in Dadaab in 1992 and is currently the only provider of medical care in Dagahaley camp. Staff are working in the 100-bed hospital in Dagahaley camp and at two health posts, providing outpatient and mental health consultations, surgery, and antenatal, HIV and TB care. Overall in 2015, teams carried out 182,351 outpatient consultations and admitted 11,560 patients to the hospital.
 Some 30,000 refugees have returned to Somalia since a tripartite agreement on voluntary repatriation between the Governments of Kenya and Somalia and the UNHCR was signed in November 2013. The majority of these – 24,000 – have left during the course of 2016.
 To understand the refugees’ concerns and needs, in July and August 2016 MSF conducted a series of discussions and interviews, and a household survey, with refugees in Dagahaley camp about their current situation and the prospect of a return to Somalia. Focus group discussions involved 75 people (42 male and 33 female) in Dagahaley camp. Interviews were carried out with 31 people including patients, MSF incentive workers and community members. The survey polled 838 heads of households (53% male and 47% female) in Dagahaley camp, with households totalling 5,470 individuals.
KISMAAYO, 19 September 2016 – Jubbaland authorities, the United Nations and other key international partners have agreed to form a joint committee to address the humanitarian needs of returnees from the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya.
The Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia Peter de Clercq led a delegation consisting of representatives of UN agencies, the World Bank and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation who met today with Jubbaland’s second deputy President Abdulkadir Haji Mohamud-Luga Dhere to discuss the reintegration of returnees. The meeting also addressed durable solutions for internally displaced persons living in Kismaayo town.
“We just spent a very important mission here, to discuss with the Jubbaland authorities the return and reintegration of refugees from Dadaab, but at the same time, also durable solutions that include the internally displaced persons, as well as the host communities that have to bear the burden of these big challenges that are coming at them. We have had very good discussions, we will have continued co-operation.We will have a coordination committee that will be based here in Kismaayo, where we will discuss concrete programmes that we will go to the donors with, to increase our co-operation with Jubbaland authorities, to increase activities around the reintegration of displaced persons and of refugees,” said Mr. de Clercq.
The Jubbaland second deputy President expressed satisfaction with the talks, which he said also discussed the initiation of development projects in Jubbaland.
“We are very pleased with the outcome of our discussions. I thank the United Nations for their assistance to the people of Jubbaland. I welcome any other organizations working on humanitarian aid in Jubbaland region to work with us. Jubbaland is ready to develop its people and to improve on the security situation, develop policies that impact positively on our people,” Mr. Dhere stated.
Earlier, Mr. de Clercq handed over two vehicles to the Jubbaland Minister of Justice, Constitution and Religious Affairs, Mr. Adan Ibrahim Aw-Hersi, that were donated by the United Nations Development Programme.
The Jubilee Government and their leadership have conned themselves from a giant heist today. The heist includes innocent civilians who fled civil wars and disasters in their home country either in South Sudan, Ethiopia or Somalia for safety in Kenya. The reality is that these refugees are pawns in the money game made-up by the Kenyan Government under the lead of CS Interior Joseph Nkaissery who used his powers to succumb the West with their ideals and wishing for the bail-out they needed.
The Dadaab Refuguee Complex we’re a pawn on the chess-set in the fitted schedule of the Government. Therefore the debt-rising government of Kenya just needed to schedule a closure of the settlement to spread fear of their hospitality. With the sense of national security that they could sell to own citizens and also the international community; the news of the closure just happen about the time the European Union we’re triggering negotiations with Turkey about the immigrations and transport of refugees from the Greek Islands toward the Turkish hinterland. This is the kind of cash-flow that Deputy President William Ruto wanted to taste and also President Uhuru Kenyatta. They got their loyal man CS Nkaissery to speak their peace and pay respects to the Somalian Authorities with threats of serving them the fleeing population back to the shores of Mogadishu. Take a look!
Joint Communique from Kenya and Somalia:
“H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta and H.E President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud held bilateral talks at State House Nairobi on Tuesday, 7th June, 2016. The meeting reviewed a wide range of bilateral and multilateral issues in particular peace, security and stability in Somalia, repatriation of refugees from Dadaab and economic cooperation” (Full Joint Communique from Kenya & Somalia ‘On Dadaab’, 2016).
Update from Ministry of Interior:
“For reasons of pressing national security that speak to the safety of Kenyans in context of terrorist and criminal activities, the Government of the Republic of Kenya has commenced that exercise of closing Dadaab Refugee Complex. The refugees will be repatriated to their countries of origin or to third party countries for resettlement” (…) “What is worse is that Kenyans have to pay for the water while refugees get it for free, not to mention the enormous economic cost to businesses in Kenya furthered by the use of the camps as smuggling centres for contraband goods. Refugee camps have become centres for poaching human trafficking and proliferation of illicit weapons which compromises Kenya’s international security rating” (…) “Finally, government shall be putting out a timetable for the execution of the representation process once the Taskforce presents in report, which should be ready by or before 31st May” (Kenya Ministry of Interior, 2016)
From the US to Kenya:
“WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, August 23, 2016 – Today, Secretary of State John Kerry announced in Nairobi that the United States is providing more than $146 million in additional U.S. humanitarian assistance to support refugees, voluntary returnees, and drought victims in Kenya and Somalia. This new funding includes a significant new contribution of more than $59 million for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to protect and assist refugees in Kenya, and support voluntary refugee returns to Somalia. In addition, the funding includes new humanitarian assistance of more than $87 million in food and non-food support for refugees and drought victims in Kenya and Somalia. This announcement brings the total of U.S. humanitarian assistance in Kenya and Somalia to nearly $265 million in fiscal year 2016” (…) “The funding announced today will support UNHCR and other international humanitarian organizations as they provide for basic survival of thousands of vulnerable people and durable solutions for refugees, and as they help assist with efforts to improve conditions for return inside Somalia. This contribution is available to support UNHCR’s enhanced plan for the voluntary return and reintegration of Somali refugees from the Dadaab camps and to ensure that any returns that take place from Kenya are truly voluntary, safe and dignified, consistent with international law, and within the framework of the Tripartite Agreement among UNHCR, Kenya and Somalia” (U.S. Department of State, 2016).
So the initial plan payed off for the Kenyan Government that they made sure to get extra funds using the Dadaab Refugee Complex and supposedly close it. Well, that doesn’t have to happen if you give us some more donor-aid or general agreement for funding it. Then we can walk away from it. That is how it looks like as the closure of Dadaab happens as the UNHCR and voluntary return of refugees. This is seems like a scheme for me. Not a legit action from the Government of Kenya. They did it when the refugee transports and the negotiations in Europe happen and the Kenyans thought! Why can’t we do the same?
Seemingly with time the U.S. Government knows the issues on the Horn of Africa and in East Africa, as they are allies with Ugandan counterparts, Ethiopian counterparts and also the Kenyans. All of them are involved in the AMISOM mission in Somalia. So the liability of making it more fragile will make it not feasible for the economic development projects from United States to the area if the place turns into shambles. The stability is needed and the Dadaab isn’t a hotbed, but is giant fatigue on the NGOs and the Governments as they are not temporary housing anymore. It’s been static for decades now and the Kenyan wants to get their rewards for their humanitarian activity. So why not the extra donations from the American Government as the looming election and the other prospects as the U.S. Government want to be in peace and diplomatic to the Kenyans.
The Kenyan Government felt the pressure of the International Community as they planned to close the Dadaab. The Multi-National Organizations that are supporting the Camp would be frustrated as much as all the people who wouldn’t have a place to go to or secure future. The mentality of the government proves to what level they will use leverage to gain capital and the fiscal funds. While shipping the rest of the billing are going on the USAID and UNHCR. Peace.
U.S. Department of State – ‘Additional Funding for Kenya and Somalia’ (23.08.2016)
Kenya Ministry of Interior & Coordination of National Government – ‘GOVERNMENT STATEMENT AND UPDATE ON THE REPARATION OF REFUGEES AND SCHEDULED CLOSURE OF DADAAB REFUGEE CAMP’ (11.05.2016)
Full Joint Communique Republic of Kenya and Federal Republic of Somalia ‘on Dadaab’ (09.06.2016)