Kenya warns Somali villages as refugees flee to Ethiopia

02 November 2011 - 11:42 By Sapa-dpa
Hundreds of Somalis attend a rally organized by the Shebab at Elasha Biyaha, outskirts of Mogadishu. File photo
Hundreds of Somalis attend a rally organized by the Shebab at Elasha Biyaha, outskirts of Mogadishu. File photo
Image: AFP PHOTO / Mohamed Abiwahab

A medical charity warned on Wednesday that more Somalis were fleeing to Ethiopia, a day after Kenya's top military spokesman warned 10 villages in southern Somalia they would come under attack.

Emmanuel Chirchir, the Kenyan military spokesman, posted on his Twitter account the names of the villages and said they will be "under attack continuously," asking relatives of people in the towns to warn their families.

Medecines Sans Frontieres said the Dollo Ado refugee camp in Ethiopia was receiving 300 Somalis per day, levels not seen since the peak of the drought that scorched the region in July.

"At the moment, the capacity to receive more people and provide the necessary food, nutritional care, medical care, drinking water, sanitation and more is grossly insufficient," said Wojciech Asztabski, the MSF coordinator in the refugee camp.

The UN has said that, since Nairobi's military rolled into southern Somalia in October, no new refugees have arrived at the Dadaab camp in northern Kenya. The army is fighting Islamist group al-Shabaab in areas near the crossing points to Kenya.

Chirchir said the military operation "is on course" and Kenyan soldiers would be advancing to the port town of Kismayo, which Nairobi charges is an economic hub for al-Shabaab.

More than 900,000 Somalis have fled their country, owing to 20 years of continuous civil war and the recent drought which plagued the country over the past year. An additional 1.5 million people are internally displaced inside Somalia.

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