Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/23/2013 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Many risk lives as they flee to neighboring nations

Somali refugees who at one time found shelter in the Arab League Nation of Syria are now being forced to relocate as their host country becomes engulfed in civil war. The Somali community in Syria is small, numbering only a few thousand. With daily bloodshed and bombings a daily fact of life there, the Somalis - already uprooted by the war in their African nation, are forced to find refuge somewhere else.

Somali refugees living in Syria have been forced to flee to such nations as Turkey and the U.S.

Somali refugees living in Syria have been forced to flee to such nations as Turkey and the U.S.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/23/2013 (10 months ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Somali refugees, Syria, displacement, civil war, work permits, higher education


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Somalia has been viewed by the international community as a failed state, following the ouster of former dictator Siad Barre in 1991. Somali civilians have since been put into the crosshairs between rival warlords, the interim government and al-Shabaab fighters with ties to al-Qaeda.

Somalis were relocated to Syria, where visas were not required for citizens from Arab League nations. The big drawback to Somali refugees in Syria was that the Syrian government did not grant work permits to the refugees. The refugees there had limited sources of income that went to buy food and pay rent, but some Somali refugees there did have access to higher education.

There are currently 3,000 registered Somalis living in Syria, which is a downturn from the previous 5,000 registered before the onset of the armed conflict.

"The Somali community in Syria consists mostly of women and children. Although some are fortunate enough to receive remittances from their families living abroad, the rest of us rely on aid from the U.N.," one Somali refugee says, now living in the United States in San Diego, California.

"We were welcomed in Syria. It was a great place for the Somali people," she says, recalling a time of peace and stability. "The kids were enrolled in school and there were no problems. Life was normal."

She also say that leaving behind friends she cared deeply about brought great sadness, even as she settled into her new life in the U.S.

"I can't be happy without feeling guilty. Just thinking about them [friends and neighbors] takes away my happiness . I pray for my neighbor of 20 years every day," she adds.

For the Somalis who remain in Syria, the wait to be transferred to another host country for the second time is raising fear and uncertainty.

Bob Montgomery, executive director of the International Rescue Committee in San Diego, says that there "certainly is a traumatic impact on people who have suffered and been through such an experience . There are still people there that are pending to come to the United States. A lot of them have to lay low until it is time for them to leave."

According to the UNHCR, "the incidence and severity of security and protection incidents affecting refugees rose perceptibly in mid-2012, with reported killings, kidnappings, domestic violence, threats, and harassment."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



Comments


More Africa

Dozens of people injured in riots in Tizi Ouzou Watch

Image of The unrest that has been swirling around the region in the Berber-speaking area of Tizi-Ouzou is reason for concern among the local population.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

Dozens of people have been injured in riots at Tizi Ouzo, which is east of the capital of Algiers in Algeria. The unrest erupted after 77-year-old Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was re-elected for a fourth term. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading


Hundreds of unarmed men, women and children slaughtered in South Sudanese village Watch

Image of More than one million people have fled their homes since fighting broke out in December between troops backing President Salva Kiir and soldiers loyal to his sacked vice president, Riek Machar.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In some of the worst violence yet in the world's newest nations, hundreds of unarmed men, women and children were slaughtered by rebels in the South Sudanese town of Bentiu. Refugees had sought refuge in a hospital, mosque and a Catholic church, the United ... continue reading


Nation holds breath over fate of 100 kidnapped schoolgirls Watch

Image of Gunmen raided the school after shooting both a solder and a policemen down in cold blood before herding the students onto trucks and driving away, according to police and eyewitnesses.The gunmen were members of the Islamist group calling itself Boko Haram.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

More than one hundred Nigerian schoolgirls remain missing after a brazen nighttime kidnapping believed to have been carried out by the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram. The military was forced last to retract an earlier statement that most of the captives ... continue reading


Fifteen soldiers killed in Kabylia as reorganized terrorist groups go on attack Watch

Image of The moment chosen by al-Qaeda's North African branch, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM fighters to perpetrate their attack is one of great concern.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

Two days after the reelection of 77-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika for a fourth term, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, reorganized terrorists groups to go on the attack the region of Iboudrarene in Kabylia. Fifteen Algerian soldiers were ... continue reading


Christians, Muslims fight to the death in besieged Central African Republic town Watch

Image of The presence of the French military in Boda is everywhere evident. Flags hang from some shacks and a handful of French armored vehicles sporadically patrol the town.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The village of Boda in the Central African Republic stands as stark testimony to the anarchy that has gripped one of the African continent's poorest nations. Christians and Islamist Muslims have clashed violently since late 2012, when a battle for political ... continue reading


Andromeda Strain? Ebola outbreak in West Africa is new strain of disease Watch

Image of Using analysis of blood samples from infected patients, researchers determined that while the Guinean form of the Ebola virus (EBOV) showed a 97 percent similarity to the Zaire strain, the disease was not introduced from Central Africa.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus, a virulent incurable disease where the body's internal organs "melt" in ongoing in West Africa. To date, 122 deaths in Guinea and 13 deaths in Liberia have been blamed on the disease. Since Ebola is endemic to the countries ... continue reading


IMPLACABLE EVIL: Militant Muslim group Boko Haram terrorizes Nigeria Watch

Image of Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram has escalated the violence. The group murdered and kidnapped Westerners and started a bombing campaign that targeted churches, mosques and government buildings.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Boko Haram, whose name means that "Western education is sin" in the native Hausa language of Nigeria, has leaped once again into international headlines with the abduction of more than 100 schoolgirls. The group has bombed schools, churches and mosques; ... continue reading


Algerian presidential election ends in violence, much disappointment Watch

Image of Speaking in a barely audible whisper, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, looking wan and frail, waved to the crowds at the announcement of his electoral victory.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

The Algerian presidential election ended in accusations, invectives and violence. The disappointment here is palpable: Elderly and infirm incumbent president, 77-year-old Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been re-elected to another five-year term. Left incapacitated ... continue reading


Vowing not to repeat mistakes of Arab Spring, Mauritanians forge new democracy Watch

Image of The group aims to promote the virtues of citizenship against a backdrop of cultural tribalism, regionalism and racism.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the first time, the African nation of Mauritania is in the position to lay down the foundations of a democratic government. That nation's power is now being officially handed over from the military to civilian authorities. It won't be a simple or easy ... continue reading


Speaking out: Reporters Without Borders tell U.S. Secretary Kerry about Algeria's issue Watch

Image of Candidates point out that fraud will play a large part in Algeria's presidential election.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

United States Secretary of State John Kerry made a two-day visit to Algiers on the second and third day of April. Kerry touched down in the African nation for strategic dialogue between the U.S. and Algeria. Viewed as an important opportunity to revive economic ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:1-10
1 Once, when Peter and John were going up to the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh, call on his name, ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:13-35
13 Now that very same day, two of them were on their ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 23rd, 2014 Image

St. George
April 23: Pictures of St. George usually show him killing a dragon to ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter