Fleeing Terror, Fighting Terror: The Truth about Refugees and Violent Extremism

Refugees are increasingly subjected to harsh policies that violate the spirit of refugee laws, and that are often justified by claiming the refugees pose security risks. This study examines the effects of violent extremism among South Sudanese and Somalian refugees in Ethiopia. The risks of violent extremism in both populations are low and refugees play a key role in fighting extremist threats. However, the harsh conditions they are subjected to over long periods pose several humanitarian, development and security concerns. Urgent efforts to improve living conditions for refugees are needed.