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High Commissioner visits Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya

Briefing notes

High Commissioner visits Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya

30 August 2005

The High Commissioner, António Guterres, is visiting Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya today on the second to last leg of his 10-day mission to Sudan, Chad and Kenya to review the situation concerning refugees in the region. Kakuma camp houses some 66,000 refugees from southern Sudan. The High Commissioner told the refugees UNHCR would help them return home when they wanted to go back, and outlined what measures we're taking to prepare for their return. This includes building schools, de-mining roads and rebuilding health facilities.

This morning, Mr. Guterres met representatives of 5,000 southern Sudanese refugees who have arrived in Kakuma since the signing of the peace accords in January. They told Mr. Guterres they had fled militia fighting that had continued after the peace agreement was signed. Mr. Guterres also spoke to a group of 100 refugees from the Darfur region of Sudan who had walked for nine months to reach the safety of Kakuma. They said the Janjaweed had prevented them crossing over into Chad, where more than 200,000 refugees from the Darfur region are in 12 camps. The High Commissioner will return to Nairobi later today and on Wednesday will meet with government officials before returning to Geneva.