BLOG

August 12, 2014 Alice Thomas Africa, Climate Displacement, Kenya, Somalia, Humanitarian Response

After decades of war punctuated by drought and famine, signs have emerged in recent years that Somalia may be heading toward a more peaceful and prosperous future. The terrorist group Al Shabab has been driven out of the capital and other areas (although attacks and assassinations are still a regular occurrence), a federal government has been elected and – despite limited capacity – assumed the reins of power, and economic projects are being planned and implemented. 

August 05, 2014 Mark Yarnell Africa, DR Congo, Kenya, Somalia, Protection & Security

This post originally appeared at UrbanRefugees.org.

July 28, 2014 Jeff Crisp Africa, Americas, Humanitarian Response, Asia, Protection & Security

In Australia, the navy is intercepting boats in international waters and incarcerating asylum seekers in floating prisons.  In Kenya, the government is deporting refugees to Somalia, despite the continued armed conflict and the increasingly serious drought in that country. Sudan has recently returned a group of refugees to Eritrea, one of the most authoritarian countries in the world. And the United States is refusing to admit many Mexican children who arrive at its border, despite mounting evidence that they are escaping from life-threatening and gang-related violence.

July 17, 2014 Guest Africa, Congress, U.S. Administration, United Nations, Neglected Crises, Protection & Security, Women & Children

#BringBackOurGirls. This slogan has been trending since April, when the Islamic Jihadist terrorist organization Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 girls from their school in Borno State, Nigeria. Countless celebrities around the world – including U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama – have lent their voices to the social media campaign. But three months later, “our girls” have not been brought back. Although reports say approximately 50 have managed to escape, 276 girls are still missing.

July 11, 2014 Mark Yarnell Africa, Kenya, Somalia, United Nations, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security

Four months ago, the Kenyan government launched a major crackdown against Somali refugees living in urban areas that involved mass arrests, extortion, and even deportations back to Somalia. This week, my colleague, Alice Thomas, and I are traveling to Kenya to assess the deteriorating situation for those refugees.

June 04, 2014 Guest Africa, DR Congo, United Nations, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security, Women & Children

On December 15th, 2013, violence broke out in the young nation of South Sudan. What began with accusations from President Salva Kiir of an attempted coup d’état by former Vice President Riek Machar has since enflamed underlying ethnic tensions and sparked a much larger conflict in which more than 10,000 people have died.

May 29, 2014 Michelle Brown Africa, Congress, DR Congo, U.S. Administration, United Nations, Humanitarian Response, Neglected Crises, Protection & Security, Women & Children

“There was war in my home. The Mai Mai came to our village and burned everything there. I came here with my wife and eight children two months ago with nothing but the clothes on our backs. I came to this village to try to get some food.” These are the words of Emmanuel, an internally displaced man in northern Katanga Province. “Look,” he said, pointing to a makeshift house of branches and leaves. “We have no shelter, and no food.”

May 28, 2014 Mark Yarnell Africa, South Sudan, U.S. Administration, United Nations, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security, Women & Children

Yesterday, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution that revises the mandate for the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). The Mission will now focus on four key tasks: protection of civilians; monitoring and investigating human rights; creating the conditions for delivery of humanitarian assistance; and supporting the implementation of the cessation of hostilities agreement.

May 27, 2014 Michael Boyce Africa, Congress, DR Congo, U.S. Administration, United Nations, Humanitarian Response, Neglected Crises

In November 2012, the city of Goma, capital of North Kivu Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was on high alert. The notorious M23 rebel group had just taken over, pushing out the Congolese armed forces and rolling past the bases of United Nations peacekeepers.

May 22, 2014 Mark Yarnell Africa, Congress, South Sudan, U.S. Administration, United Nations, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security, Women & Children

Since fighting broke out in South Sudan last December between government troops, who support President Salva Kiir, and forces loyal to the former Vice-President, Riek Machar, more than a million people have been forced from their homes. The UN estimates that a staggering $1.8 billion is needed to fund the response to the crisis through 2014, of which only 30% had been secured by mid-May.

May 19, 2014 Guest Africa, Kenya, Somalia, United Nations, Humanitarian Response, Neglected Crises, Protection & Security

Little Mogadishu has been under siege for more than four weeks. Half of the Somali population here is either in Kasarani camp (a makeshift camp set-up at a football stadium 10 kilometers outside of Eastleigh), has been deported back to Mogadishu, or sent to the Dadaab or Kakuma refugee camps. The remaining half, including my brother and I, are forced to stay indoors for our own safety. We can’t go out for food, water, and medicine.

May 16, 2014 Michelle Brown Africa, Congress, DR Congo, United Nations, Humanitarian Response, Neglected Crises, Protection & Security

My colleague Michael Boyce and I are currently in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where we will be traveling to both North Kivu Province in the northeast and Katanga Province in the southeast. With more than 2.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs), DRC has one of the largest displaced populations in the world.

May 13, 2014 Marcy Hersh Africa, South Sudan, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security, Women & Children

The brutality in South Sudan is reaching terrifying new heights, and women and girls are increasingly caught in the middle.

April 16, 2014 Jeff Crisp Africa, Egypt, Syria, Humanitarian Response, Middle East

Like most buildings on the seafront in Alexandria, Egypt’s second city, the Nady el Togoreen or “Accountants Club” has seen better days. The concrete is crumbling, the paint is flaking, and the club’s two outdoor swimming pools have long since been emptied of water. Now they are filled with broken deck chairs and sunloungers.

April 10, 2014 Daryl Grisgraber Africa, Egypt, Syria, Humanitarian Response, Middle East, Protection & Security, Women & Children

Today, I spent the afternoon with a group of Syrian refugee women living here in Cairo. Some of them were considered vulnerable by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and were able to get small amounts of aid for food and rent. Many had children who dropped out of school in Egypt in order to provide for their families. Most had husbands in Syria whom they worried about constantly. All were hoping to go somewhere besides Egypt, but were losing faith that it could really happen.

April 07, 2014 Guest Africa, Kenya, Somalia, Protection & Security

Hungry and scared, I got up the courage to come out of our building in the morning to eat at a small restaurant on 8th Street in Eastleigh. What happened was so embarrassing. A Kenyan who was eating there immediately ran to the door and closed it before I came in. A few seconds later, the owner opened the door and told me, “Toka hapa” – “Leave here.” I walked back to my house starving.

This was the closest restaurant to our house. The Somali restaurants I sometimes visit were not open. Most of their owners and workers were spending their days in Pangani police station.

April 03, 2014 Michelle Brown Africa, DR Congo, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security

Late last week, the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution extending the mandate of the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) for another year. The responsibilities of the mission remain largely unchanged and include protecting civilians and neutralizing armed groups. But the Council did do something new in the lengthy resolution: they made it clear that they were looking for the exit.

April 02, 2014 Guest Africa, South Sudan, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security

In December 2013, in Juba, South Sudan, fighting broke out between soldiers of the Nuer and Dinka ethnicity within the presidential guard. This fighting quickly spread throughout the country, as the Dinka aligned themselves with the country’s president, Salva Kiir, and the Nuer aligned themselves with the former vice-president, Riek Machar. Despite attempts to negotiate an end to the fighting, battles between the national army and the opposition forces continue, and the country remains incredibly insecure.