From The Grio — Refugee Barwago Mohamud huddles silently beneath a few blankets stretched over sticks at night, fearing for her life after a neighbor was raped, and a naked woman who had been kidnapped and gang-raped for three days in front of her terrified children was delivered to the medical tent next door.
Only a few hundred feet away stands a newly built camp with a police station, toilet blocks and schools. Neat thornbush fences in the camp separate residential areas for families to move into. But all the facilities are empty. The Kenyan government is refusing to open the new Ifo 2 facility as part of the world’s biggest refugee camp, Dadaab, saying the desperate Somali refugees flowing into the country are a security risk.
But for the women and children who fled war and famine and are now forced to build their shelters farther and farther away from the center of the camps, the extension would be a refuge from the armed men who prowl the bush at night. Some may be deserters from Somali forces across the border; others are Kenyan bandits who rob and gang-rape the stream of refugees fleeing the famine in Somalia.