Blog Posts by Mark Yarnell

July 23, 2015 Mark Yarnell Africa, Ethiopia - Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, U.S. Administration, Protection & Security

Earlier today, I was in touch with a Somali friend, Farah, who has been living as a refugee in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, for the past several years after he fled fighting in Somalia. I asked him what he thought about President Barack Obama’s visit to Kenya this week.  He said, “I am happy. I hope he talks about refugee rights.”  He then said, “The talk of everyone in Nairobi is that the most powerful man on earth is coming to Kenya.” 

May 20, 2015 Mark Yarnell Africa, Central African Republic, U.S. Administration, United Nations, Humanitarian Response, Neglected Crises, Protection & Security, Women & Children

Periodic violence, reprisal attacks, recent displacement – the town of Bambari, almost right in the middle of the Central African Republic (CAR), is emblematic of the continuing crisis in the country. In 2013, many areas in CAR descended into intercommunal violence following the overthrow of the government by an amalgamation of rebel groups from the north known as the Séléka. Christian militia groups, known as anti-Balaka, started fighting against the Séléka (composed primarily of Muslims).

May 11, 2015 Mark Yarnell Africa, Central African Republic, United Nations, Humanitarian Response, Neglected Crises, Protection & Security

More than two years since a rebel movement launched a violent campaign against the Central African Republic government, the country is continuing to experience a major humanitarian crisis. In March 2013, the Seleka group (an amalgamation of rebel groups from the north) overthrew the central government in Bangui, and since then sectarian violence between Christian militia groups, known as anti-Balaka, and former members of Seleka, who are mainly Muslims, has permeated the country.

January 20, 2015 Mark Yarnell Africa, South Sudan, U.S. Administration, United Nations, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security

The village of Pagak lies in Ethiopia’s Gambella region on the western border with South Sudan. Pagak essentially exists on both sides of the border, and in better times, people would move from one country to another primarily to meet friends and relatives, engage in trade, or transport livestock.

January 13, 2015 Mark Yarnell Africa, South Sudan, U.S. Administration, United Nations, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security, Women & Children

South Sudan is continuing to reel from internal conflict that ignited in the capital Juba a little more than a year ago and quickly spread throughout the country. On December 15th, 2013, fighting erupted in Juba between soldiers loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar and those loyal to President Salva Kiir. More than one year on the fighting continues, primarily in Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile states in the north.