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Rift Valley Institute

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Drugs, divorce and despair: Somalia’s forgotten male war victims


Men in war-torn Somalia suffer high rates of drug addiction, divorce and mental illness, researchers said, urging donors to do more to support men and strengthen families….

“Men find themselves dispensable, with no meaningful role and no stake in the future,” said the World Bank-funded study, based on interviews with 400 men and 90 women living in Somalia and neighbouring Kenya….

Young men are under increasing pressure to provide for their families, often through illegal means such as piracy or through the barrel of a gun, the researchers from the Rift Valley Institute Nairobi Forum said.

“The picture that emerges is really a very depressing one,” said Judith Gardner, one of the report’s authors.

The men “join al Shabaab or another militia group that would pay (them) a salary … or (they) try to escape to Kenya,” she said….

The researchers called on donors to pay greater attention to men’s needs.

“There are lot of men who have suffered enormously and are not getting any support,” said Judy El-Bushra, one of the report’s authors.

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