UN Staff Besieged in Dadaab Refugee Camp Begs the Government to Rescue Them

UN Staff who have been besieged in their Dadaab compound are now appealing to the Kenyan security forces to intervene and help rescue them from the locals who wants to attack Nywele Ngumu and International Staff working with other NGOs and the UN.

According to sources within the camp, around 650 humanitarian staff members have been barricaded in their compound since Wednesday, with locals demanding that international staff and Nywele Ngumu (non Somali Kenyans) be removed from the facility.

Picture of the camp;

A message from a staff member inside the camp reads;

The media has been airing host community demonstrations in Dadaab but none of the media has talked about staff working in NGO’s and UN.

We have been hold hostage in the compound since Wednesday last week, no movements allowed ( Non host community staff “who are referred too as Down Kenyans and international staff” we are not permitted to go out of the compound) weekly flight which comes here on Mondays, Tues, Weds and Friday’s have been cancelled since last week on Wednesday.

Some colleagues are unwell and others were scheduled to go for maternity leave. Up to now the government has done nothing to help us out, the situation is deteriorating day by day, yesterday night there were gun shots all over the compound which believed it was targeting down Kenyans and international staff. The most upsetting thing is that the UNHCR Kenya Representative has not condemn the attack neither has even involved himself in solving the condition.

As we are speaking now food distributions for refugees which normally commences every 1st of every month has don’t been done. Is this really right for refugees to be treated like this? Is it right for us to be hold hostage in a compound where we cannot get out? I know you will help us by informing Human Rights and media about our situation.

Locals are demanding that they be employed instead of those who have been doing the work.

According to sources within the camp, the UN staff are now lost for words as helps seems not to be forthcoming and all operations to support the refugees have been stopped.

Food is always distributed to the refugees on the first day of every month. This has not happened this month as locals have besieged the camp demanding to eject Kenyans who are not from near Dadaab and the international staff.

On Monday night, the whole camp experienced gun fights between UN and Kenyan security forces battling locals who wanted to raid the camp and harm those they don’t want there.

PIC: Flickr

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Written by Robert

Respected Kenyan blogger, tech evangelist, and social justice activist. Robert is known for his hard-hitting articles and opinions disseminated through his Twitter handle @RobertAlai or Facebook page (

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