KENYA’S REFUGEES: A PERILOUSDadaab, Kenya (AP) - Refugee Barwago Mohamud huddles silently beneath a few blankets stretched over sticks at night, fearing for her life after a neighbor was raped, and a naked woman who had been kidnapped and gang-raped for three days in front of her terrified children was delivered to the medical tent next door. Only a few hundred feet away stands a newly built camp with a police station, toilet blocks and schools. Neat thornbush fences in the camp separate residential areas for families to move into. But all the facilities are empty. The Kenyan government is refusing to open the new refugee Ifo 2 camp, Dadaab, saying the desperate Somali refugees flowing into the country are a security risk. But for the women and children who fled war and famine and are now forced to build their shelters farther and farther away from the center of the camps, the extension would be a refuge from the armed men who prowl the bush at night.
JOURNEY FOR FOOD AND FREEDOM
JOURNEY FOR FOOD AND FREEDOM
Some may be deserters from Somali forces across the border; others are Kenyan bandits who rob and gang-rape the stream of refugees fleeing the famine in Somalia. The contrast between the squalid, insecure outskirts of the sprawling camp and the empty, silent facilities shows how regional politics can interfere with aid efforts, causing millions of dollars to be wasted and leaving women and children vulnerable to attack. Mohamud and eight other women and girls share their rickety shelter on the outskirts of Dadaab, a camp designed for 90,000 people which now houses around 440,000 refugees. Almost all are from war-ravaged Somalia. Some have been here for more than 20 years, when the country first collapsed into anarchy. But now more than 1,000 are arriving daily, fleeing fighting or hunger.
After many families have made the long, perilous journey from Somalia to the refugee camps in Kenya, they are not yet safe. Research shows that women are often attacked when they leave their families to go to the bathroom or gather firewood. The International Rescue Committee has recorded a spike in rapes and attempted rape. Since the beginning of June, they have had double the number of attacks reported from January-May. More and more women are coming forward who have been raped but the vast majority of rapes go unreported. Lust of the flesh along with cruelty and violence are demoniac propensities.
WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
The heart disease of every Jiva is Lust (Kama). An enslaved Jiva cannot conquer Kama by his own capacity. We become victims of Kama (passion) when we become averse to Sri Krishna. This punishment has been inflicted upon those, who, being the eternal servants of Sri Krishna, are reluctant to serve Him. If the root cause of passion is not eradicated, how can we conquer Kama? When we become averse to Sri Krishna and want to enjoy Maya, Maya immediately envelops us and we get false egos relating to subtle and gross bodies. As such we are passing through cycles of births since time immemorial and burning in the conflagration of births and deaths and threefold affliction. The only way of getting emancipation from worldly suffering is total unconditional surrender to the Lotus Feet of Sri Krishna.