Close sites icon close
Search form

Search for the country site.

Country profile

Country website

Violence in Kenyan camps

Briefing notes

Violence in Kenyan camps

29 January 1999

Between 4,000 and 6,000 women and children living in Kakuma camp, in north-west Kenya, have taken temporary refuge in or near the UNHCR compound in the camp, after fighting broke out earlier this week between Sudanese groups living in the camp. The confrontation between Sudanese Dinka and Didinga communities Wednesday morning left five refugees dead and 51 hospitalized. Many houses belonging to the Didinga community were burned.

Some of the wounded were taken to the ICRC hospital in Lokichokio, and others to local facilities. Kenyan police officials arrived quickly to restore order. UNHCR is consulting officials on ways to improve security at Kakuma, including the possibility of further separating the different refugee groups. The two existing sites are presently home to 70,000 refugees from several different countries. The majority are Sudanese, followed by Ethiopians and Ugandans. More than 1,300 southern Sudanese arrived in Kakuma during December alone.

There have also been violent incidents in and around the Dadaab camps over the past week, apparently as a result of disputes over grazing and water. There are three camps in the Dadaab area located in north-east Kenya; they house 110,000 mainly Somali refugees. The violence there is unrelated to that in Kakuma.