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UN Asks Kenya to Allow the Expansion of Somali Refugee Area

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, yesterday urged Kenya to permit the expansion of residential areas for Somali refugees.

More than 314,000 Somalis currently live at three camps in the Dadaab area in northeast Kenya and a new residential site needs to be built to house refugees who are arriving daily, the High Commissioner and the heads of the World Food Programme and UN Women said in a joint e-mailed statement.

Most of southern and central Somalia has been controlled by the Islamist al-Shabaab militia since it began a campaign against the government in 2007, while President Sheikh Sharif’s transitional administration holds only parts of Mogadishu, the capital, backed by African Union peacekeepers. The U.S. accuses al-Shabaab of having links to al-Qaeda.

Somalia hasn’t had a functioning central administration since the ouster of former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

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