Monday, September 25, 2006

Somali Refugees Flock to Kenya

(Nairobi, Kenya) As the fundamentalist Islamic Courts Union destabilizes the country of Somalia, fearful refugees are flocking to Kenya for safety. According to Emmanuel Nyabera, spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a massive relief operation may be required since the camps in Kenya have reached capacity.

From The East African:
Since September 13, more than 3,400 Somali have escaped fighting in their country to find refuge in Kenya, bringing the tally to almost 25,000 since the beginning of the year. There are more than 227,000 refugees already in Kenya, mainly from Somalia and Sudan.

Mr Nyabera said that, from interviews with UNHCR officials, it had emerged that the refugees, who are mostly women and children, were mainly from Mogadishu, Kismayu, and Lower Juba province.

Incidentally, these regions are not so far in the hands of the Islamic Courts Union.

Outside Mogadishu, the Islamic Courts are in control in the provinces of Lower Shabelle, Benadir, Middle Shabelle, Hiran, Gelgedut and parts of Mudug region.

Refugees from Baidoa -- the seat of Somalia's interim government -- have also started trickling into Kenya.
From a big picture perspective, both Somalia and Sudan are being taken over by warring Islamists and the people who don't convert to Islam are running for their lives. Both the Sudanese government and the Islamic Courts Union have vowed to fight any peacekeepers sent to quell violence.

So far, the UN has only talked about East African strife and the African Union's attempt at keeping peace in Sudan failed. Unlike 1991 when Somalia was a media darling, the current situation is getting considerably less emphasis. Consequently, the march of Islamic belligerence in Africa continues.

East Africa is not a teapot yet but give it time. Sooner or later, it will whistle.

Companion posts at In The Bullpen and The Jawa Report.

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