January 26 2014: between two and nine people killed by a drone strike on al Shabaab forces some 200km South of the Somalian capital Mogadishu. Two vehicles were destroyed. #drone #drones #somalia (at Hawai, Lower Shabelle)
Today, #WorldRefugeeDay, the number of people who are refugees or displaced is at its highest level in 18 years.
Our December 2011 episode on refugees in Somalia:
Somalia’s weak Transitional Federal Government, the Obama administration, and the United Nations have all blamed the anti-government group al-Shabab for restricting international aid operations in the areas they control. But is al-Shabab the only reason a drought and food crisis has turned into a deadly famine?
In the first of a two-part series examining the US response to drought and hunger in the Horn of Africa, Fault Lines travels to Mogadishu to meet refugees who have fled to the most war-ravaged city in the world to escape a worse fate, and the aid and medical workers struggling to help them. We examine the legacy of US engagement in Somalia and its efforts to address the current crisis.
And the second part of the series is here.
Somalia’s Shabab fighters take to Twitter
Here’s the Fault Lines episode, “Horn of Africa Crisis: Somalia’s Famine,” that aired November 28, 2011 on Al Jazeera about Somalia’s famine and the US policies that may contribute to the unrest.
Here’s our episode on Somalia and the current famine crisis from last week and how those issues are related to and impacted by US policies.
“An aid worker using an iPad captures an image of a dead cow’s decomposing carcass in Wajir near the Kenya-Somalia border on July 23.”
Our new Fault Lines episode on drought in Kenya airs this Monday, 5 December at 2230 GMT. Last week’s episode on famine in Somalia is up on the Al Jazeera YouTube channel here. (Photos from that episode here.)
Amina Shakir (not her real name) fled the drought and famine in Somalia for a better life in Kenya. But she did so illegally, placing her faith in the hands of a criminal network headed by Mukhalis, or agents in Swahili. In the end her faith was misplaced as she was “sold” into employment upon finally reaching Kenya.
But Shakir is not the only one illegally crossing the border into Kenya. Natural disasters, armed conflict and famine devastating the Horn ofAfrica have caused an increase in human smuggling and trafficking in the region.
Shakir’s journey took her from a collection point in Somalia to a transaction point in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. She and several other girls made the over 1,000-kilometre journey in a truck under the guard of five men. “I was not alone,” Shakir said. “Other girls were in the truck as well, one man was also there. Our handlers assured us of our safety till we get to our destination … I felt I was in safe hands.”
But when she arrived in Eastleigh estate, a Nairobi suburb that has become an international business centre, she was sold into employment. She now works as a shop attendant for her “buyer”.
(Peter Kahare for The Guardian)
An aerial view of the world’s largest refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya. It is home to 450,000 refugees, most of which have fled drought and civil war in Somalia. A further 1,500 people arrive every day. Read more about life in Dabaab on Global Voices.
Photo by Oxfam International on Flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND)
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