Chaos in Kakuma as refugees, locals clash

Tension gripped Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana following daylong confrontations between a section of refugees and the local community.

Sources within the camp said the confrontations were sparked by an attack on a female refugee who was shot and hurt by an unknown attacker at the camp on Tuesday night.

Authorities said hundreds of the refugees stormed Kakuma town following the gun attack, bringing business in the town to a standstill.

Windows of a bus used by teachers at the refugee camp were smashed during the protests and there were fears that occupants sustained injuries.

The protesting refugees were on a procession to the UNHCR offices to present their complaints when they clashed with another group of protestors comprising of traders and residents living adjacent to the refugee camp.

Turkana County Police Commander Samuel Ndanyi said the refugees' peaceful demonstration was disrupted by angry residents of the busy town who claimed that it hurt their businesses.

“No deaths have been confirmed in the demonstrations. The police restored order before things got out of hand," Mr. Ndanyi said yesterday.

He added: “The situation is currently stable and under control by the security personnel. We are asking the local communities and the refugees to remain calm as we get to the root cause of the confrontations."

Witnesses, however, said there were casualties but The Standard could not independently verify the claims.

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Kakuma refugee camp