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|Kenyans Register As Refugees At Daadab|
Nairobi, April 8, 2003 (East African Standard) - Thousands of Kenyan nationals have registered as Somali refugees at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camps in Dadaab Division of Garissa District.
The number of presumed refugees at Dagahaluy, Ifo and Hagardera camps rose by almost twice the usual population since UNHCR officials started a headcount a fortnight ago.
Many urban centers in North Easter Province remained deserted as majority of poor residents reported to the camps for issuance of ration cards with the hope of using the document for relocation to a "third" country as refugees.
The worst affected towns are Garissa, Wajir and Mandera where most pastoralists who lost their herds to natural calamities reportedly sought refuge.
UNHCR has been unable to differentiate between Kenyan and Somalia Somalis during such exercises because they share kinship ties on either countries.
Garissa DC, Mr. Aloise Lentoimaga, confirmed the mass exodus of residents to the camps but said the Government will sort the genuine refugees.