UNHCR fears the future of Somali refugees in Kenya

Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, has recorded an influx of Somali refugees into Kenya over the last nine months, with some 26,000 asylum seekers arriving in Kenya since the beginning of the year, the UN agency said here Tuesday.
Those who fled to Kenya join thousands of others living in refugee camps in northern part of the country, a statement released by the UNHCR said, expressing fears that the number may further increase following militia fighting over the weekend in Dobley, a village 18-km near the Kenya-Somalia frontier.
"Two refugees died on arrival in Kenya, and a wounded man was transported from Liboi health center to Dadaab for treatment," the UN body said.
"We are also concerned that the attempt to assassinate the Somali transitional government president on Monday in Baidoa may cause additional displacement," it said.
The UNHCR said the refugees, who are mostly women and children, say they are fleeing rising tensions and fighting between the Islamic Courts Union and warlords.
The UN body said it transported 662 refugees who arrived over the weekend at the Kenyan border town of Liboi, to its camp at Dadaab on Monday.
Although most of the new arrivals early this year fled because of food shortages after the drought, people also sought to escape the fighting that engulfed Mogadishu from February to June as the Islamic Courts (SCIC) fought and eventually removed an alliance of warlords from the city.
Last Friday, the UN agency said it received 442 refugees, up from about 300 a day earlier in the week.
The UN agency said it was sending trucks daily to the border point to collect the new arrivals for transfer to the nearby Dadaab refugee camp – a complex of three camps already hosting some 134,000 mainly Somali refugees.
There are 227,400 refugees in Kenya, mainly from Somalia and Sudan.

19 september 2006 13:22:00

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