This research paper explores how terrorist activities in Somalia have affected refugees in Somalia. Terrorism can be defined as an unlawful violence or war deliberately targeted to civilians. According to Facchini, terrorism can further be described as the systematic use of violent acts intended to create fear. This threat is normally perpetrated for religious, political or ideological goals. Refugees are people who have moved away from their home country due to war or violence. The movements normally occur when the affected people migrate from their home country to a neighboring one.
Somalia refugees are known to move to Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya for fear of violence in their home country. There is a discussion to support the thesis with an explanation of what is at stake in the topic chosen. Logical solution to the problem is further discussed while criticizing the underlying issues in the proposed ideas. A definite conclusion is then drawn.
The Suffering of the Refugees
The vulnerable population is the refugees. The specific issue in the study is terrorism carried out by a terror group called Al- Shabaab. This group has been fighting the interim government of Somalia since its inception. This country has been destabilized and made insecure for human life as a result of the wars. Essential necessities like food, clothing and shelter have been very scarce posing danger to women and children in the war torn country. In the process many citizens have been threatened and hence made to run away from their motherland. Thousands and thousands of Somalis have fled the state to the neighboring Kenya in search of basic needs. According to the UN report released in 2001, there are several challenges facing the refugees. Health issues like sleeplessness, malaria, diarrhea and Sexually Transmitted Diseases are very common.
The refugees have also suffered mistreatments at various times. Some of the peacekeepers and aid workers have been very ruthless to the refugees. Children are normally worst affected by the unfamiliar environment in the camps. This results to trauma and psychological stress not only for the young ones but also their mothers. Sexual harassment has also become a major challenge. Women and girls are often raped and sexually abused by the militia. Some of the girls fleeing the war tone Somalia have often opted for commercial sex in order to earn a living.
Poverty is eminent among the refugees. The affected people always have no possession of their own as they cross to Dadaab Camp. Furthermore Refugees do not have jobs and economic activities to help them earn income. They mostly depend on aids from the United Nations and other Non- Governmental Organizations for their provisions. This is the greatest danger that terrorism in Somalia pose to the Somali refugees. Life in the camps is pathetic. Men, women and children are in dire need of humanitarian support.
Many resolutions to the problem in Somalia have been proposed. There are various methods that have been put across to manage the challenge. Two of the suggested proposals shall be highlighted in this section. One long-term way is to wipe out the militia from the Somali territory. Dadaab Camp requires expansion in order to sustain the large number of refugees. The social groups that have been proposed to deal with the problem include the military and UNHCR. The effort is urgently needed to fight Al- Shabaab besides the provision of humanitarian needs.
The government of Kenya recently began an offensive against the Al-Shaabab militia group. This has been supported by the African Union, U.S and Israel. It is important for the international community to join hands and fight this criminal gang that has resulted to emigration of many Somalis. Humanitarian need is yet another proposal to solve the problem. What is at risk is the lives of people especially women and children who have no food, shelter and clothing. Research needs to be done in order to find a lasting and practical solution to the needs of these refugees.
Critically, the two proposed solutions have strengths and weaknesses. Military action is as good as providing humanitarian aid. According to Lustick, military action is effective in resolving the militia problem. But he purports that if it is not done objectively, it can create more refugees instead. This leaves the option of the action of UNCHR as the best strategy to use in this region.
According to Loescher, this is the time that the UN should provide plenty of humanitarian aid than ever. This is because of the alarming situation in Dadaab Camp in Kenya. Somali refugees are still streaming into the country despite its full capacity. Apart from the provision of basic needs, the UN should reconcile Al- Shabaab and the Somali Government. This would result to a long lasting peace. This is the justification that the latter way is better than the former military action.
In conclusion, there are effects of terrorism activities on refugees in Somalia .It is clear that terrorism has made many Somalis to seek for safety in Kenya. Two major methods have been proposed and critically discussed. It emerged that humanitarian provision is the most applicable way to resolve this conflict in the horn of Africa.