Refugees International's Director of Advocacy
Larry Thompson and Senior Advocate Michelle Brown are presently on an assessment
mission to Kenya and Uganda.
In Kenya, the RI team plans to visit Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps. Kakuma and Dadaab are among the largest and oldest refugee camps in the world. Kakuma houses 80,000 Sudanese and Somali refugees, as well as refugees from Ethiopia and the Great Lakes; Dadaab has 120,000 Somali refugees. Both camps are located in remote, arid regions in which the potential for economic activity is very limited. RI will examine problems such as the protection of refugees, especially women, and recurrent food shortages. RI plans to discuss with Kenyan and UN authorities policies and programs to foster durable solutions to the problems the refugees face.
In Uganda, a brutal civil war between the government and the Lords Revolutionary Army (LRA) in the north has displaced one million Ugandans. RI plans to visit some of the areas in which displaced persons are temporarily living to assess their needs for international assistance and protection. Access to the displaced and security for aid workers are serious problems in Uganda. We also plan to look into international efforts being made to achieve a peaceful resolution of the long-running civil war. We will also visit Sudanese refugee camps.
Michelle visited Uganda about one year ago to report on the humanitarian consequences of the little known Ugandan civil war and humanitarian crisis. RI has also previously visited the Kakuma and Dadaab camps in Kenya. Our previous advocacy has focused on the plight of the Sudanese "Lost Boys" and "Lost Girls" refugees in Kakuma camp and encouraged their resettlement in the United States. This mission will continue and amplify our work in both countries.