MEDIA MONITORING

Aljazeera: ‘No other home’: Refugees in Kenya camps devastated over closure

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Terrifying, shocking, a rejection of humanity – these are just some of the words used by residents of Kenya’s two largest refugee camps to describe their fear and despondency over the news that the government is trying to have the settlements shut down imminently. On March 24, Kenyan Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i declared the United Nations’ refugee agency (UNHCR) had two weeks to come up with a plan for closing the Dadaab and Kakuma camps, which between them host some 410,000 people from more than a dozen countries, including Somalis, South Sudanese, Ethiopians, Tanzanians, Ugandans and Burundians. Otherwise, authorities warned, they would force refugees to travel to the border with Somalia. In a tweet, Kenya’s interior ministry called this an “ultimatum” and said there was no room for further negotiations. “I don’t know if the [Kenyan] government have sat down and considered the lives of people living in the camp or they just wake up and make those decisions,” said Austin Baboya,…

Nation: Uganda rescues 29 Burundian girls, arrests 5 in human-trafficking racket

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Ugandan police has rescued 29 Burundian girls and arrested five suspects involved in a human-trafficking racket in the east African country, a police spokesperson said here on Tuesday. Charles Twiine, police spokesperson for criminal investigations directorate, told Xinhua by telephone that the Burundian girls were rescued while in transit to other countries for sex trade. "We have rescued them (girls) and we have them here. I can't know whether they came from Bujumbura, Ruhengeri or whatever part of Burundi," said Twiine. "Uganda is a transit route. We are trying to see how we can work on mechanisms of taking them back," he said. The police spokesperson said the suspects will be arraigned to answer to charges of human trafficking. "Trafficking of girls is one of the dehumanising crimes that is associated with sexual and labor exploitation," said Twiine. SOURCE: Nation

Nation: UNHCR launch campaign to support Refugee Olympics team

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UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, has launched a powerful social media campaign calling for the world to support the Refugee Olympic and Paralympic teams. At the centre of the global campaign is ‘The Journey’ – a social video dramatically depicting the extraordinary stories of the refugee Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls. Released to mark the UN’s International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, ‘The Journey’ tells the dramatised story of a refugee who is forced to flee her home on foot escaping conflict and persecution. Travelling by land and sea, she eventually reaches safety, reestablishes her life and starts running towards a new goal: a medal. Created in collaboration with two International Olympics Committee (IOC) Refugee Athlete Scholarship-holders, the social video highlights the power of sport to bring hope and change for all those forced to flee. Nation Sport had an exclusive interview with Angelina Nadai and Paolo Amoton Lokoro both from the Refugee Team currently training at Ngong, Kajiado County. Click here to…

The East African: At least 40 dead in fighting in Sudan’s Darfur: UN

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At least 40 people have been killed and 58 injured in three days of clashes in Sudan's West Darfur state, the United Nations said Monday. After clashes at the weekend, residents of El Geneina, capital of West Darfur and close to the border with Chad, said gunfire erupted in the city at dawn on Monday, with shells exploding in the suburbs. Plumes of smoke rose high into the sky as people fled the violence, witnesses reported. "Since April 3, 40 people have been killed," the UN humanitarian coordination office OCHA said in a statement. It said the clashes pitted Arab groups against the non-Arab Massalit ethnic community in the city of El Geneina, where the situation remained "tense". Sudan's top security body, the defence council, late Monday declared a state of emergency in West Darfur state and deployed troops to the region. SOURCE: The East African

MSF: COVID-19 further fuels mental health crisis in Dadaab as durable solutions falter

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A mental health crisis is growing in Kenya's Dadaab refugee complex, where hundreds of thousands of Somalis have been stuck for decades now. A fatal mix of pent-up despair, anxiety and fear, combined with new uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, is forcing refugees to take extreme measures. Teams from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) run a mental health clinic at our 100-bed hospital in Dagahaley camp, one of three that make up the Dadaab refugee complex. The clinic provides medical treatment for patients with various mental illnesses, including depression, schizophrenia, as well as personality and anxiety disorders. MSF is witnessing a dramatic deterioration in the mental health of camp residents. In Dagahaley, the number of attempted suicides is rising, and psychosocial consultations have jumped by more than 50 per from last year, over the same time period until September – from 505 to 766. In the past two months, five people have reportedly attempted suicide in the camp, two with fatal results. Many refugees…
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