For the last few weeks I have been in Nairobi, awaiting transit to the Dadaab refugee camps. However it appears that I might have sufficient reason to not go these camps. Perhaps if I was working for a large NGO or UN organization that had the capacity to provide med/evac and proper security assistance, I would be comfortable to accept the current risks. Yet working for a small non-profit out of California, I'm not so sure. Today I received word that Oxfam has pulled out its staff from Dadaab and the nearby town of Wajir. Consequently, I'm having doubts if this is worth pursuing.
In recent weeks, Al Shabaab have overtaken the border town of Dhobley from another major militant group, Hezbal Islam. Now in power, they have already begun to enforce their own twisted form of Sharia law upon its citizens as evidenced by the recent demand for all women to to wear veils.
When I worked at Dadaab in 2007, there was of course a security concern, yet it appears that much has changed within the last 2 years. While the camps contain the operations of multiple NGOs, that may begin to change as well. As much as I love the people and the place of Dadaab, it is certain that I should not pursue this in a reckless manner. As I continue to consult with various ngos etc, I will have a better understanding of the circumstances. For now my plan is to get in, do my job, and get out.