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October 26th, 2009
12:18 PM ET

Rights group urges Kenya to stop military recruitment of refugees

Somali military recruiters are enlisting men from Kenya's Dadaab camps say Human Rights Watch.  The Dadaab refugee complex is the largest of its kind in the world.

Somali military recruiters are enlisting men from Kenya's Dadaab camps say Human Rights Watch. The Dadaab refugee complex is the largest of its kind in the world.

Moni Basu
CNN

A global human rights group is urging Kenya to stop Somali military recruiters from enlisting displaced men and boys in Kenya's sprawling Dadaab refugee camps to fight in their war against Islamic militants.

"Recruitment of fighters in refugee camps undermines their very purpose, which is to be a place of refuge from conflict," said Letta Tayler, a researcher with Human Rights Watch, who spent a week interviewing refugees for the group's Thursday report about the practice. "The boys and men who are in these camps risked their lives to flee. Now they're being asked to return to that."

She said allowing recruiters to enlist young refugees in a new force intended to fight on behalf of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government is a violation of U.N. regulations that govern refugee camps.

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Filed under: Africa
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Cherisa

    While the recruitment effort is deplorable, the number of refugees in the camp caught my attention – 280,000 in a space built for 90,000. I can only imagine the conditions there.

    October 26, 2009 at 1:57 pm |