Somali refugee leader shot dead in Kenya camp

January 2, 2012 6:58 am

, NAIROBI, Jan 2 – A gunman opened fire Sunday at a refugee camp in eastern Kenya, killing a refugee leader before escaping in the second such incident in a week, police and the UN told AFP.
“The attack occurred in broad daylight. The attacker opened fire and fled. A refugee was killed,” Leo Nyongesa, the regional police chief said adding the gunman has not been arrested after the attack at the Ifo camp in the massive Dadaab complex.
“The UNHCR can confirm a refugee leader was shot and killed in Ifo camp,” Vivian Tan, a spokeswoman for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said, adding that the victim was on the camp’s Community Peace and Security Team.
“It is the second such killing this week and the latest in a string of security incidents including improvised explosive devices and the kidnapping of aid workers,” she said.
Police chief Nyongesa said the attack was likely the work of Somali Al-Qaeda linked insurgents or their sympathisers.
“We have had several attacks linked to the Shabaab recently and we believe this has to do with them, but we are doing everything to fight them off. We have enhanced our surveillance,” he told AFP.
On Friday UNHCR reported the killing of the head of the Community Peace and Security Team in Hagadera, another camp in the Dadaab complex.
He was shot several times as he entered his compound on Thursday evening and the gunman reportedly escaped.
Neither of the two victims has been named, with officials citing concerns for the security of their families. The Peace and Security Teams cooperate with local police and NGOs to ensure security in the camps.
Dadaab, which lies some 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the Somali border, is the world’s largest refugee camp, sheltering more than 460,000 people.
Conflict, drought and famine have seen 295,000 people flee Somalia this year alone, according to the UNHCR — more than half of them ending up in Dadaab.
But since October, when two Spaniards working for Doctors without Borders (Medecins sans Frontieres – MSF) were seized by gunmen in Dadaab, growing insecurity has crippled the ability of aid agencies to deliver relief in the camps.
The kidnapping was one of the incidents that spurred Kenya to send troops into Somalia to fight the Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab.
In addition to the kidnappings of the Spaniards and the recent shootings, a series of blasts have often targeted security forces personnel and aid worker convoys deployed in the camps.


Latest Articles

Most Viewed