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After recruitment by Al-Shabab, children face difficult conditions in detention

How is it that children get involved with Al-Shabab in the first place?   Al-Shabab uses many means to recruit children, including enticements, deceit and force. Poor rural communities, with little protection, are particularly vulnerable to…
Photo of Somali children blindfolded.
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When the new Somali president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, took office in September, the United States encouraged him to “usher in a new era of governance that is responsive, representative, and accountable.” This week, President Hassan Sheikh is in Washington…
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Like many of the Somali youth I interviewed in Kenya, “Xarid M.” had braved the streets of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, for as long as he could to go to school. But that all changed the day the Islamist insurgent group al-Shabaab brought the war to his…
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(Hagadera Refugee Camp, Kenya) - For months, 18-year-old Ahmed Abdullahi had dodged the mortar shells that whizz daily through Mogadishu, the war-ravaged capital of Somalia. The one that finally drove him from Somalia tore though his family's house and…
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The US-backed Ethiopian military has secreted away scores of "suspects" – including pregnant women and children – and fueled anti-American rancor in Africa

Ifo Refugee Camp, Kenya - Ishmael, a 37-year-old shepherd from the Ogaden region in Ethiopia, looked at me with tears in his eyes. Ethiopian forces – who had already killed his mother, father, brothers and sisters – murdered his wife days after they were…