Ohio is celebrating its 212th birthday with special events at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.
Central Ohio Somali activists are concerned about recent reports that Ethiopian troops have moved into the country. The reports are troops have been sent into provincial capital Baidoa and other border cities. Somalia has been racked by civil war for the last 16 years. Now local activists are lobbying US officials to intervene. WOSU’s Sabrina Hersi-Issa reports.
As more immigrants arrive in Columbus, their diets change to include more processed food and more sugar. For a group of Somalis, the dietary changes create a need to change oral hygiene and dental care. They get help from several health and social service organziations.
Columbus area law enforcement agencies and the Somali community are working to improve relations. Tensions grew in December after the fatal shooting of a Somali man by a Franklin County sheriff’s deputy. The death helped start a series of discussions between Somali leaders and law enforcement which may extend to other immigrant communities in the future.
Members of the Somali community in Columbus rallied this afternoon at City Hall to protest the fatal shooting of a local man they say was mentally ill.
A Franklin County sheriff deputy fatally shot a Somali immigrant in Columbus Wednesday when he allegedly lunged at officers with a knife. Four Franklin County deputies were under orders to pick up 23-year-old Nasir Abdi and take him to a psychiatric center, but he resisted.
Columbus’ Somali population is growing again. The head of the Somali Community Association, Hassan Omar, says hundreds, perhaps thousands more refugees will re-locate to Columbus from refugee camps.
A group of Somalis in Central Ohio wants a helping hand from local government, preferably direct aid for re-construction and capital improvements. But, international politics and a budget crunch at city hall prevents the exchange of financial aid.
12,000 Somali refugees are set to resettle in the U.S. over the next few years. Some of those refugees will be coming to Central Ohio. Area social service agencies are getting ready to welcome them to Columbus.
While presidential politics or the future of the football Buckeyes are discussed informally over coffee at local restaurants, the topic at a North Linden fast-food restaurant is focused on news out of Nairobi, Kenya. Earlier this month, representatives from 42 Somali factions signed an agreement for peace and outlined how the eastern African nation should be governed.