War fears: Somalis in Kenya afraid of xenophobia

AP News
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Posted: Nov 11, 2011 10:54 AM
War fears: Somalis in Kenya afraid of xenophobia

The streets of Nairobi's Somali community are no longer congested. Many Somalis are staying inside out of fear of xenophobic attacks.

Kenyan troops last month moved into southern Somalia in pursuit of al-Shabab militants. Those militants, in return, threatened to retaliate with large-scale terror attacks in Nairobi.

There is fear in Kenya's Somali community, says Salah Abdi Sheikh, a Kenyan-Somali who wrote a book on the 1984 massacre of possibly thousands of Somalis by Kenyan troops.

No violent attacks on Somalis have yet taken place, though some have suffered ethnically based harassment and degrading put-downs. A government commission is tracking down the source of several email messages and postings on social media "demonizing Somalis."