Tuesday Talks with Philip Wilkerson
Phil works for TEAR Australia as the International Program Coordinator.
Deepening Crisis in Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen.
The last 24 hours I have crossed more international borders than I can count.
Travelling on an Airbus from Ethiopia, I’ve stared in a daze at a screen showing this animated plane effortlessly move from one country to the next.
Three days ago I also sat with people who had crossed an international border, but without my power and privilege.
Near Dollo Ado, on the border of Ethiopia and Somalia, there are approximately 210,000 Somali refugees, many who have lived in camps for the past 5 years. People who left their homes and livelihoods at the height of the 2011 famine in Somalia and walked for days to find food and a safe haven. Muslim women and men who wanted a place of peace and safety for their children, so they fled the terror and conflict with al-shabab.
And people continue to seek refuge.
Last month alone, another 576 women, men and children were registered as refugees in Dollo Ado, placing further demand on the limited resources available in the camps.
As debate and discussion about refugees continues, we must never forgot the powerful and privileged position we speak from.
We must never forget the circumstances – the horror and hardship – people are fleeing.
Phil – #tearaustralia
The world’s second largest refugee camp consists of five refugee sites in the region of Dollo Ado in Ethiopia with a population of over 210,331 Somali refugees.
The refugee camp in Dollo Ado opened in June 2011 to accommodate a wave of newly arriving refugees from Somalia. Refugees have arrived daily to Dollo Ado mainly because of increased insecurity in Somalia, but also due to drought. Women and children make up the vast majority of the new arrivals, most of whom are coming with only a few personal belongings.
To further complicate the deepening humanitarian crisis, refugees from Yemin are arriving in Somalia.
‘For more than 24 years, refugees have fled instability in Somalia for the comparative safety of Yemen. Now, as indiscriminate violence grips Yemen, civilians there are packing up their lives and hoping to find safe haven in Somalia.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) recently announced that thousands of refugees from Yemen are expected to make the dangerous trip across the Gulf of Aden to Somalia, and to other Horn of Africa countries like Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Sudan.
is thought to have risen to about 1.5 million, about 6 percent of the population, proportionally equivalent to more than 19 million Americans—the entirety of Florida or New York. The number is five times what it was just last December’. Excerpt from Refugees International – click here for the full article.By this August, with the outbreak of civil war in January and a major foreign intervention, the number of internally displaced Yemenis alone
By spring, already some 25,000 Yemenis had fled abroad, but in the course of the GCC air campaign and indiscriminate Houthi shelling this summer, another 100,000 have left the country. Thousands are leaving every week, taking passage in cargo ships across the Red Sea to Djibouti and Somalia in the Horn of Africa, and then some are making their way north to places like Egypt. The only limiting factor so far has been the high cost of passage, but human traffickers are likely to set up shop on the Yemen coast if they smell money. The chaos in Libya makes it a favored launching place for Afro-Asian refugees attempting to get to Europe, and a stream of Yemenis could make their way to the Mediterranean coast’. Excerpt from TheNation.com – click here for the full article.
Please pray for the ongoing situation of refugees living in East Africa who are unable to return to their homes. Pray that conflict and food security will improve in the region and provide people with more certainty about their future.
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