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Kenya: fighting between Sudanese flares again at Kakuma

Briefing notes

Kenya: fighting between Sudanese flares again at Kakuma

17 April 2001

Seven Sudanese refugees have been killed and scores injured in fighting in Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya. Clashes broke out late Sunday between rival Sudanese Dinka people from the Bor and Bahr el Ghazal regions of Sudan. The fighting is said to have started between two refugees at a water trench in the camp of over 60,000 refugees, mainly from southern Sudan. The clashes reportedly continued yesterday, although no further casualties were reported. This morning, the camp was reported calm as Kenyan police patrolled the site to keep the two groups apart. As a security measure, UNHCR and NGO staff have been temporarily withdrawn from the camp area. Essential services are, however, continuing.

Yesterday, the local administration in Kakuma and UNHCR officials met with refugee leaders from the feuding communities. Another meeting is planned for Wednesday. In 1998, a similar flare-up left six refugees dead and several others seriously injured in the same camp. Conflicts and tensions in Sudan itself have been occasionally reflected in hostility between different groups of refugees in Kakuma camp.