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Kenya: Sudanese begin return in Kakuma camp

Briefing notes

Kenya: Sudanese begin return in Kakuma camp

4 July 2003

Some of the 30,000 Sudanese refugees displaced by recent fighting in Kakuma camp in north-western Kenya began yesterday (Thursday) to return to their areas of the camp where the clashes erupted. Camp activities, which were paralysed for days in the wake of fighting, have now resumed. The Kenyan government has beefed up security in the camp, with more than 100 regular police on guard, as well as 21 paramilitary troops who were sent there soon after the fighting broke out on 20 June.

UNHCR hopes the extra police presence will provide security to allow all displaced refugees to return to their homesteads. Twelve people died in nearly a week of fighting last month. Nine were refugees and three were local Turkana residents. Following a cattle-rustling incident, groups of local Turkana people, some of them armed with AK-47 automatic rifles, attacked the camp. The refugees defended themselves with crude weapons.