While the Greek islands used to be places of transit where asylum seekers and migrants spent only days on their way to other European countries, as a result of an EU agreement with Turkey, thousands are stranded on Greece’s Aegean islands.
Somalia is now well into its third consecutive season of a severe drought that, in the last seven months alone, has forced more than 760,000 people to flee their homes in search of food and water. Most come from areas controlled by Al-Shabaab or other non-state armed groups, places where the government and humanitarian agencies have limited to no access. The town of Baidoa, retaken from Al-Shabaab in 2012 and now marginally under state control, has become the only means of survival for much of the rural population across the country’s drought-stricken, south central region.
As a human rights researcher and advocate for many years, I have sadly become accustomed to listening to painful stories and to witnessing people’s despair. But on the Greek islands, there is an added layer of cruelty: this pain is avoidable.
Somalia is again in the throes of another drought that by many accounts is worse than the last. Thankfully, greater government control and a prompt humanitarian response by the government and aid agencies have saved lives, but the scale of displacement is enormous. More than 760,000 Somalis have been displaced across the country since November 2016, 160,000 of them to Mogadishu. Here they are struggling to access assistance and protection in a dangerous and volatile environment.
Following the Supreme Court's "travel ban" decision on June 26, Refugees International has assembled the following Q&A.