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Africa

2011-10-24

AFRICA/KENYA - " Minimum services are guaranteed in Dadaab, waiting for new security protocols", says the representative of Caritas Somalia

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - "For the moment, given the security situation, what remains active in Dadaab are those that the UNHCR calls the Life Saving Activities. All organizations present in Dadaab keep the necessary staff to carry out these operations", said Suzanna Tkalec to Fides, operator of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), responsible for the operation of Caritas Somalia in Dadaab (in northern Kenya on the border with Somalia), where on October 12 two aid workers from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) were kidnapped. The two operators were kidnapped from the camp of Ido, one of the structures which houses the largest community of Somali refugees in the world (over 400,000 people). Tension remains high due to the Kenyan army offensive against the Shabab stronghold in southern Somalia. An offensive that sees at least 4,000 soldiers committed, as confirmed by Mrs. Tkalec who says that last week she saw "a large number of army vehicles that were heading toward the Kenyan border with Somalia".
"The various organizations working in Dadaab keep themselves up to date on the evolving situation hour by hour, in order to determine when and how to resume all the activities", adds Mrs. Tkalec.
"The UNHCR is coordinating with the Government of Kenya to put into function new protocols in order to strengthen security in Dadaab. When these protocols are developed all activities in the fields of the area will be able to resume. However we have not had reports of possible attacks in the area, but it is obvious that in these cases the level of attention is very high", concludes the representative of Caritas Somalia.
Yesterday’s explosion, October 23, of a bomb in a disco bar in Nairobi which caused 14 injuries is interpreted as retaliatory to the Kenyan troops’ offensive (which seems supported by the French ships and U.S. aircraft without pilots). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 24/10/2011)

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