This article originally ran in The Huffington Post.
The Dadaab refugee camp in Northeastern Kenya is over 20 years old and has received successive waves of refugees, reflecting the political turmoil and violence against civilians that continues to engulf Somalia. I visited the camp this week and met with many Somalis who have fled civil war and sought refuge here. After talking with these people, it is clear to me that the United States and the international community must invest in the future of Somalia’s refugees if we want to build a peaceful Somalia.
by Agostine Ndung'u
With the clock ticking towards the historic January 2011 referenda in South Sudan and Abyei, concerns are rising among the international community that preparations on the ground are moving at a dangerously slow pace. Unless precautions are taken immediately, Sudan might just slip back into civil war. To avert this looming danger, humanitarian and advocacy organizations, like Refugees International are abuzz with activity in Washington, D.C. As an intern at RI I attended several events about Sudan this summer that give a glimpse into the concerns felt by the policy community here in Washington.
With the southern Sudanese referendum for independence less than a year away, it is a bit puzzling that the south is not overcome by an overwhelming sense of nationalism. It is true that on the eve of the national elections, the increasing number of independent candidates has fractured southern political parties that were previously utilized as national rallying bases.