From refugee camps in Kenya, Somalis react with sadness, dismay

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Wednesday February 1, 2017

In this photo taken Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016, Somali refugee and mother of six Madino Dhurow stands by her makeshift shelter in the Daryeel camp for the displaced. Farah Abdi Warsameh | AP 2016
In this photo taken Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016, Somali refugee and mother of six Madino Dhurow stands by her makeshift shelter in the Daryeel camp for the displaced. Farah Abdi Warsameh | AP 2016


Thousands of Somali refugees cleared to come to the United States are now facing an uncertain future.

Some have been waiting as long as a decade to be approved for resettlement and were only days away from leaving for America when President Donald Trump’s executive order came down. It temporarily bars entry for all refugees for 120 days, and it’s unclear what will happen after that.

“They have not been given any communication officially as by now,” said BBC Correspondent Bashkas Jugsodaay, who has been speaking to refugees in Kenya. “But they themselves through radios, through social media and other entities they know what is happening in America.”

One man living in a refugee camp told Jugsodaay that it had taken six years of questioning and processing to be accepted for relocation to America, and he had been waiting for his flight when the executive orders were announced.

The Kenyan government has been pushing to shut down Dadaab, the largest refugee camp in the world — though Jugsodaay says nobody has given an answer for how to relocate the people currently living there.

“All of them want to be relocated to Minnesota because of the presence of thousands of Somalis who, most of them, actually come from the refugee camps in Dadaab,” said Jugsodaay.