UN calls on Kenya to halt deportations to Somalia

Published: November 3, 2010

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on Wednesday urged Kenya to stop the deportations of some 8,000 refugees to war-torn Somalia.
Some of the refugees – believed to be mostly women, children or elderly – are being pushed into ‘a no-man’s land’ on the border of the two east African countries, the agency said.
According to UNHCR, many of the refugees from southern and central Somalia face dangers and are in need of international protection.
The 8,000 refugees, who have been living in northern Kenya in what is known as camp Border Point 1, fled violence between the al-Shabaab militia, a radical Islamist group, and Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamaa, a Sunni militia group allied with the transitional Somali government.
Kenya hosts many thousands of refugees from Somalia, UNHCR noted, asking Nairobi to continue to afford protection to those in need.
UNHCR had warned last week that there is a ‘fast deteriorating’ humanitarian situation along the northern part of the Kenya-Somalia border as people flee the violence.
Recently, the International Committee of the Red Cross also warned that Somali women and children in Mogadishu were experiencing a sharp rise in war injuries, as one sign of the worsening situation in the capital.
More than 21,000 people have died in Somalia’s ongoing insurgency, which began in early 2007.
The chaos-ridden Horn of Africa nation has been without an effective central government since 1991.

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