Bloomberg News

United Nations Says Two People Killed at Kenyan Refugee Camp

July 01, 2011

(Updates with UN comment in the third paragraph.)

July 1 (Bloomberg) -- At least two refugees were killed and a dozen injured in rioting that broke out at the Dadaab refugee camp after Kenyan police tried to demolish illegal structures near a food-distribution point, the United Nations said.

Police fired teargas and live ammunition in the Dagahley section of the Dadaab complex, the UN said today in a statement. Dadaab, about 260 miles (418 kilometers) northeast of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, is the world’s largest refugee camp. It houses more than 370,000 people who have mainly fled from neighboring Somalia in a space designed to host 90,000 occupants.

“Sadly, this incident is symptomatic of the pressure at the camp amid overcrowding,” Adrian Edwards, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said in the statement.

Conflict in Somalia and a severe drought have led to as many as 61,000 people fleeing to Kenya this year, about a third of them in the past two weeks, according to the UN.

Islamic militants, including al-Shabaab, have been fighting the Somali government for the past three years and control most of southern and central Somalia. Somalia hasn’t had a functioning central administration since the ouster of former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

More than 10 million people living in parts of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda are facing the worst drought conditions in six decades, the humanitarian agency said.

--Editor: Karl Maier, Heather Langan

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah McGregor in Nairobi at smcgregor5@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.


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