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One Killed as South Sudanese Clash at Kenyan Refugee Camp


South Sudanese refugees arrive at Kakuma refugee camp in January 2013. Violence erupted at the camp between rival South Sudanese groups. (Courtesy: FilmAid)

South Sudanese refugees arrive at Kakuma refugee camp in January 2013. Violence erupted at the camp between rival South Sudanese groups. (Courtesy: FilmAid)

One person was killed and several were wounded at the weekend when members of two South Sudanese communities clashed in Kakuma refugee camp in northwestern Kenya, a U.N. refugee agency official said.

The fighting pitted members of the two biggest ethnic groups in South Sudan, the Dinka and the Nuer, against each other, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesman Emmanuel Nyabera told South Sudan in Focus.

The clashes were triggered by the "alleged rape of a 10-year-old girl from one of the communities," Nyabera said.

Kenyan police intervened and calm was restored in the sprawling camp in Turkana county, Nyabera said.

Kakuma has taken in some 38,000 new refugees since December last year, when South Sudan erupted in violence, he said. The UNHCR says on its website that the vast majority of people streaming into the camp are from South Sudan.

Nyabera said the UNHCR is working closely with South Sudanese community leaders at Kakuma refugee camp "to make people know that they have to live together in a good manner, in a peaceful manner and support each other," especially when they are living in such difficult circumstances.

Kenya is home to more than half a million refugees, around a quarter of whom are packed into Kakuma.

The UNHCR says Kakuma is overcrowded and "additional land is urgently needed. UNHCR's top priorities in the camp are to respond to protection needs, and to provide adequate infrastructure and basic services for a growing population."

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