Violence erupted in Dadaab refugee camp last week. Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya is home to thousands of refugees from Somalia. The violence resulted in the death of one refugee and injuries were sustained by several other refugees. You are probably wondering why there was violence in a refugee camp in the first place and what the aid workers were doing to quell the violence. Well, according to UNHCR the riot began when illegal structures built around a food distribution point got destroyed and the Kenyan police used teargas (as usual) and later live ammunition.
In my opinion, overcrowding is partially to blame. Over 370,000 people stay in the camps in Dadaab (obviously the world’s largest refugee camp), more people keep coming into the camps so eventually a ‘survival of the fittest’ issue becomes a reality. They cannot be sent back be the Kenyan authority because it will be a violation of refugee law; if a system of regulation is not created then we are sure to hear of more violence and even worse. Some refugees have settled down in unregulated areas, we can only hope that the Government of Kenya in partnership with NGOs can settle these problems. Somali refugees do not only run to Kenya for refuge, Ethiopia is home to about 110,000 Somali refugees.