16 May 2012

Somalia: Kenya Police Loot Businesses in Dadaab After Explosion

Dadaab, Somalia — Kenyan authorities have been accused of looting a market owned by refugees in Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp in the country's north eastern region after an explosion on Tuesday, Radio Garowe reports.

Two Kenyan authorities were injured and 1 killed on Tuesday, after a land-mine hit a convoy that Kenyan officers were accompanying. The incident occurred in Dhagahley neighborhood, one of the many neighborhoods in the massive Dadaab refugee camp, which is home to at least 400,000 refugees.

Abdifatah Ahmed Ismail, a Dhagahley refugee camp representative who spoke to media said that after the explosion, Kenyan officers began firing at civilians who were near the site of the explosion.

"After the explosion officers were firing indiscriminately at civilians who were trying to escape the explosion. Then the officers began raiding and looting businesses near the scene of the explosion," said Mr. Ismail.

He went on to add that residents of the neighborhood left their homes, worried that Kenyan police would continue to target them. Mr. Ismail said that Kenyan police repeatedly target refugees at the camp when attacks occur in or around the refugee camp.

Earlier this month Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a 65 page report on abuses, rape and mistreatment of refugees in Dadaab committed by Kenyan police. In the report HRW says since November of last year - a month after Kenya sent forces to Somalia - to March 2012 Kenyan police regularly arrested and abused Somalis living in Dadaab.

The Kenyan government promised to investigate the abuses carried out by Kenyan police.

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