As Islamist militias solidify their control over Somalia, refugees continue to cross the border into Kenya. Millicent Mutuli is a spokesperson for the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR. From Nairobi, she gives VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua an update on the situation.
“Since the beginning of the year we have had more than 25,000 that have come in. This month alone there’s 4,200 that have come in. The daily rate that we were seeing at least two weeks ago that has continued. In fact, we have seen fairly large numbers, with as many as 600 coming in in any one day,” she says.
As for the condition of the refugees, Mutuli says, “People have walked long distances so they are tired. Last week, there was on one occasion where we did receive some wounded people. Apparently there had been fighting in Dobley, which is just across the border from Leboi. So we did receive some wounded people, but that has been the exception on the whole. Basically we’re seeing people who are fatigued. I think quite a bit more malnourished children and people needing medical attention.” (English to Africa.”