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Should Kenya allow another refugee camp?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 15:52 UK time, Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The drought in East Africa has been making headlines for the last few weeks. Somalis are streaming into Kenya due to the worsening situation in their own country.

Thousands of are heading for Dadaab, a town in northern Kenya which already has three camps hosting an estimated 370,000 refugees. The existing camps are overflowing with long term residents and the newcomers: they were built to accommodate only 90,000.  Many people have trekked for days or weeks and are in desperate need of food, water and medical attention.

The Kenyan government has so far refused to allow a new camp to open, even though it has been built and ready to receive refugees for the past two years.  The argument is that it will act as a magnet, and pose a risk to national security. 

The Islamist insurgent group al-Shabaab controls much of the territory of Somalia from which the refugees are fleeing. 

At this point should Kenya allow another camp?

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