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Two refugees killed in North Eastern Kenya


Sunday, December 16, 2012
By Cyrus Ombati

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NORTH EASTERN; KENYA: Two refugees were attacked and killed in separate incidents within Ifo refugee camp in increasing incidents of insecurity involving immigrants.

One of the victims was shot dead on Saturday night by a lone gunman while the second one was stabbed to death, police said.

Police who man the area said the victim who was shot was walking from a shop when the gunman confronted him at close range and blew up his head before escaping without stealing anything from him.

The second victim was similarly confronted and stabbed in the stomach and bled to death minutes later.

Police said no arrest has been made so far and linked the attacks to remnants of Somalia’s Al Shabaab militants who have infiltrated the camps.

North Eastern police boss Philip Tuimur said they are yet to make an arrest in connection with the incidents.

The attacks came a day after one person was injured in an explosion at an Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission registration centre at the camp.

This was after an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) went off at the centre where eligible voters were queuing to register.

Police say most of the refugees are behind increased terror related attacks in the country.

Somali refugees and asylum seekers living in urban areas have been ordered to return to the Dabaab refugee camp.

Acting Commissioner for Refugees Sora Katelo issued the directive on Thursday that all refugees living in urban areas should return to their refugee camps with immediate effect.

Katelo said the decision has been informed by rising insecurity where in some cases refugees have been implicated.

Katelo said the government has further stopped registration of asylum seekers and closed all registration centers.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and all other agencies that offer humanitarian assistance have also been advised to stop offering their services to refugees living in urban areas and instead transfer their assistance to the refugee camps.

According to Katelo, there are over 100,000 refugees in urban areas, 60 percent of them living in Nairobi.

The directive came as six men suspected to be members of Al- Shabaab were arraigned in a Garissa court and charged with being in possession of firearms and planning to commit crime.

Internal security PS Mutea Iringo said most Somali refugees are roaming in the country instead of being at the refugee camps where they are registered and blamed them for the insecurity situation.

“Some of the suspects arrested are refugees who have their way from the refugee camps to here, and we will conduct countrywide operations to ensure all refugees are taken back Dadaab,” he said.

Iringo said the government was in talks with the UNHCR to have them sent back home since normalcy has returned in Somalia.

Officials say a message intercepted from the Somali Islamist extremist group Al Shabaab shows the rebels are being offered up to Sh890,000 to kill Kenyan security officers.

There are more than 500,000 refugees at the camps in the larger Dadaab refugee camp.

In September, President Kibaki asked UN agencies and international organisations working in Somalia to relocate to the liberated areas and directly provide humanitarian assistance to Somalis living there.

Kibaki, who was in New York for the UN General Assembly also appealed to the UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon to mobilise all relevant agencies to embark on relocating the refugees living in Kenya to liberated areas of Somalia, noting that the situation created by the presence of over 650,000 refugees in Daadab camp in Kenya was untenable.



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