Violence in Somalia is causing hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes for safety, either in other parts of Somalia or in neighboring Kenya.
The battle is between government forces and an insurgency that aims to topple the government and impose a stricter form of Islamic law. For more on the conflict, listen to our online radio show on lawlessness in Somalia.
In recent weeks, there has been intense fighting in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, with more than 100 people killed. The United Nations says 34,000 people were forced from their homes by the fighting just last week. More than a million Somalis have been displaced by the war, and fully 40 percent of the population is said to require humanitarian assistance.
Aid groups say that 5,000 Somalis make their way to Kenyan refugee camps each month, where conditions are bad enough that some consider returning to their violent homeland. Three of the camps are in the border town of Dadaab, where there are now more than a quarter million Somali refugees.
Joke van Peteghem, head of Doctors Without Borders in Kenya, describes the deplorable conditions in Kenyan refugee camps.