Repeated calls in recent months by Kenyan government officials to repatriate half a million Somali refugees currently living in the Dadaab refugee complex to so-called safe areas of southern Somalia have been described as unrealistic by aid agencies and by the refugees themselves.
However thats not the case with all refugees, Nuria Arte is always listening out for any news from back home. Her husband is in Somalia’s port of Kismayu, she and her five children hope to join him soon. She says she is growing weary of constant threats to close down the camp. Dadaab refugee camp was established in 1991, when civil war broke out in Somalia,its original capacity was 90,000 people, today it is home to at least 350,000 people,and some of these refugees want to go home because resources are scarce
30 year old Asly Yacob is one of those affected by the apparent strain. While some have set up thriving businesses, most of the refugees have no jobs those lucky enough to find something to do, like Asly’s husband, fetch firewood to make charcoal.
“They have always threatened to close this place…and the talk of us harboring terrorist…its nothing new, I don’t see them…and the government has never done anything about……”
While there are still volatile areas, Somalia has made several gains towards stability, For these women, they hope that the situation improves, for the sake of their families.