Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Rape, militia and health fears mean Somali refugees want to stay in Kenya: charity

13 October 2016, 14:47

Nairobi (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - More than eight out of 10 Somalis living in the world's largest refugee camp, which Kenya plans to close by November, are unwilling to return home, fearing rape, forced recruitment into militias and lack of medical care, a charity said on Wednesday.

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said the return to Somalia of some 300,000 refugees living in Dadaab camp would be disastrous for their health, putting them at risk of malnutrition and infectious diseases like polio.

"Hundreds of thousands of lives will be put at risk," MSF said in a report sent to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"Extreme levels of insecurity and a dangerous absence of medical care mean that the conditions necessary for a safe and dignified return are simply not present in many parts of Somalia today."

Kenya hosts the largest population of Somali refugees who have fled a 25-year-old civil war in the Horn of Africa country, according to the United Nations.

Kenya and the UN have said returns are being conducted on a voluntarily basis, with refugees being taken to designated safe areas.[nL8N1BR0HT]

They have appealed to donors for funding to provide better health and education services in Somalia. [nL8N1BX1LP]

Kenya says it has to close Dadaab for its own security as the camp has been infiltrated by "terrorist cells" which have carried out deadly attacks on Kenyan soil.


Children arriving in Kenya from Somalia have never received routine childhood vaccinations, MSF said, and new arrivals often fall sick with measles.

Polio, which has almost been eradicated globally through vaccination, broke out in 2014 in Somalia, illustrating the weakness of its health services.

"I am afraid to go back because there is no life and no hope there," one refugee cited in the report told MSF.

In Somalia, private clinics are prohibitively expensive and pharmacies often stock out of date and poor quality drugs, some of the 800 refugees living in Dadaab surveyed by MSF in July and August said.

In remote parts of the country, people have to rely on traditional herbs and healers, they said.

Three out of 10 of those surveyed by MSF have a household member who needs medical care for a chronic condition, such as asthma, diabetes or hypertension.

They will have little access to treatment in Somalia, MSF said, and tuberculosis patients whose medication is interrupted risk developing the drug-resistant form of the disease.

Two out of 10 of refugees surveyed have a household member who needs mental healthcare, which is much less readily available in Somalia, MSF said.

MSF called on Kenya, the U.N. and donors to consider other solutions, such as resettlement in third countries, integration into Kenyan society and the construction of smaller and more manageable camps.

- Reuters


Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
New IEBC bosses to be named Novem...

New IEBC bosses will be named on November 30. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
DP Ruto has spoilt my name, activ...

DP William Ruto has spoilt my name, activist complains. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Quit if you can't fight corruptio...

An MP has told President Uhuru Kenyatta to quit office if he cannot fight corruption. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Investigate Uhuru, Ruto for corru...

Investigate President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto's offices over corruption, CORD leader Raila Odinga has said. Read more...