Friday, July 29, 2011

Kenya and Somalia: a difficult neighborhood

White SUV: A convoy of aid agencies at refugee camp in Dadaab 28th July 2011 2011-07-28 17:20:04 The Kenyan government apparently wants to reduce the influx of Somali refugees dramatically. Different is hard to explain was why the new refugee camp, "Ifo II" opened in the immediate vicinity of Dadaab, the largest refugee camp in the world, despite assertions to the contrary including the Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga as before.

"Ifo II" is ready for a long time, with permanent houses, hospitals and sanitation facilities. The camp is designed for up to 60,000 refugees and could relieve Dadaab, where nearly 400,000 refugees now residing in Somalia. But up to 1,000 new arrivals every day, fleeing from famine in Somalia over the border, will instead be settled by the Kenyan authorities more or less in the desert next to Dadaab.

Dadaab behind this system, such as the holding of the first food at the airport in Nairobi by the Kenyan customs at the beginning of the week has made clear. The refugees are not welcome in Kenya, and Kenya felt little desire to trade center for relief supplies and aid agencies, which are in the eyes of radical Islamists in Somalia devil.

The reason is not unreasonable fear of Kenyans first, that so many refugees can be a serious threat to Kenya's own safety and secondly because of the media attention could be the target of terrorist attacks. The Kenyan Cabinet is deeply divided over the issue, not to end up like the endless stream of refugees from Somalia should be handled.

Primarily responsible for security ministries (Defense and Interior) had against the opening of "Ifo II" pronounced, because they fear the one hand an increased crime and the infiltration of militants of the radical Islamist militia al Shabaab to Kenya, where in Somalia has spread only once, that Kenya continues to provide shelter.

Even now, access to the Dadaab refugee camp only with a police escort is possible, because driving in the many Somali bandits making trouble. On Wednesday, a policeman came to the Kenyan border with Somalia killed by an explosive device. Kenya has become, against his will into a frontline state.

In neighboring Somalia, a war is raging, will be drawn into the Nairobi under any circumstances. This is understandable, because Kenya is home to Ethiopia next to the largest community of Somalis outside Somalia, which is solely to monitor because of their size hardly. The government of President Mwai Kibaki wants the fundamentalists in Somalia there are no reasons to attack them.

This is also the reason why Kenya is no troops for the peacekeeping mission of the African Union (AU) in Somalia, Amisom. They come mainly from Uganda, and al Shabaab has in the past repeatedly threatened to carry the war into the land of the "Crusaders". In July last year when two suicide attacks in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, more than 70 people were killed.

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