Imagine if you had to leave your home because there was no food to eat due to famine. Imagine if you lived in an area full of violent conflict. Imagine walking for days in hopes of finding a safe refuge and food for your children. Imagine finding that place only to be turned away….
Kenya’s government is failing to provide a safe haven to Somalia’s refugees who are fleeing famine and conflict – even when it has the capacity to extend its refugee camps to hold an additional 40,000 people.
Kenya claims the refugees are running from the drought and therefore can safely be harbored inside Somalia’s borders. However, in reality the refugees are also running from the incessant violence and abuses wreaked by the Islamist armed group, al-Shabaab.
Al-Shabaab’s brutal rule, combined with the famine, has created the devastation. The United Nations says Somalia is facing a famine, but al-Shabaab has rejected essential humanitarian aid to keep people from starvation. Al-Shabaab has even kept people from fleeing Somalia’s most dangerous areas. The fighting continues – even in the same areas Kenya’s government says are safe for refugees.
Somalia’s refugees are not safe inside Somalia. Tell Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki to open up the extension camp and let in Somalia’s refugees!