UN agency deplores killing of Somali community leader at refugee camp

30 December 2011The head of the United Nations refugee agency voiced deep regret today at the killing of a Somali refugee leader in the Dadaab complex in north-eastern Kenya, describing the slaying as senseless. António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), issued a statement after last night’s killing of the chairperson of a community peace and security team in Hagadera camp, which is part of Dadaab.The man – whose name has not yet been released – was shot several times as he entered his compound about 7:45 p.m., according to UNHCR, which said the gunmen reportedly escaped. The victim was rushed to a camp hospital and later died as he was being evacuated to Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, for further treatment.The peace and security team which the man headed is run by refugee residents in Dadaab, and UNHCR said they have been instrumental in helping to maintain security inside the camp.Dadaab is the world’s largest refugee settlement, home to more than 460,000 people, overwhelmingly Somalis who have fled famine and fighting in their neighbouring homeland.Aside from the humanitarian suffering and violence, Somalia remains beset by political tensions, and the UN and other international organizations have been working to help Somalis resolve their differences.In a statement issued late today by his spokesperson, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commended Somali political leaders for committing under the so-called Garoowe Principles to a clear process and timeline for finalizing a draft constitution, reform of Parliament and the conclusion of the transition.“The Secretary-General reminds the leaders that the people of Somalia and the international community expect them to keep up the momentum on the Roadmap and resolve outstanding differences to enable the transition to be completed on time,” the statement noted.

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