- The UN refugee agency has said that thousands of Somalis continue to cross and flood the north east Kenyan town despite the recent election and the formation of the new government earlier this year.
The UN High Commission for Refugees spokesperson Ron Redmond said more than 20,000 Somalis have been registered in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camps since the start of 2009, stating that majority view refugees' camps as better option to flee the rising insecurity coupled with drought and food shortages.
Mr Redmond said UNHCR is continuing to receive new arrivals at Kenya’s sprawling and overcrowded Dadaab refugee complex. Designed nearly two decades ago to accommodate a total of 90,000 people, the complex currently houses over 261,000 according to the agency.
“There are concerns that the upcoming rainy season, set to begin in early April, could put additional constraints on the already congested camps,” he said.
According to UNHCR, more than half of the new arrivals to Dadaab are women and children, some having traveled as much as 800 kilometres over 16 days by foot to reach the camps.
Somalia which has not had an effective national government since 1991 when militias ousted the then dictator Siad Barre, has seen more attacks on government forces and unarmed civilians.
The UNHCR said it is finalising plans with the Kenyan government for the construction of new camps to ease the burden on the Dadaab site. “It is crucial for the government to provide us with land as soon as possible, where we can build other camps and thus decongest the existing camps and prepare for more people if the current arrival trend continues,” Mr Redmond stated.
Yesterday, a roadside bomb in Somali’s capital Mogadishu injured the interior minister Sheik Abdulkadir Ali Omar and killed his secretary near his house, sending more fears amongst civilian populations who have lived mostly in personal security alert.
The minister who has recently occupied the position was reportedly passing through the capital's busy Bakara market, a stronghold of the radical al-Shabab militia when a landmine went off.
The recent election of President Sharif Sheik Ahmed has sparked a row with government forces and radical al Shabab waging attack on government demanding the reestablishment of the very strict Shariah court in the Muslim dominated Horn of Africa state.
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