In Summary
  • About 20 international staff have been stranded at the UNHCR Dadaab headquarters.
  • Key operations such as distribution of food to camps have been delayed until security of workers is assured.
  • Last week, hundreds of locals vowed to continue with the protest until their demands are met.

International staff working for United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) are stranded in Dadaab as a standoff between the refugee agency and the host communities entered its sixth day Wednesday.

Since the standoff started at the biggest refugee camp in Kenya, flights have remained suspended since locals have blocked the airstrip.

Consequently, about 20 international staff have been stranded at the UNHCR Dadaab headquarters.

Key operations such as distribution of food to camps, which was to start from December 1 to 8, have been delayed until security of workers is assured.

A source within the refugee agency said anxiety is high among the staff, with most of them unable to get out of the main office compound.

“Nothing is going on; even hygiene is a problem as the people supposed to clean the offices are nowhere to be found,” said the source who declined to be named since he is not authorised to speak to media.

The source said gunshots were heard near the compound, escalating fears and anxiety. But Dadaab Deputy County Commissioner Harun Kamau said the gunfire was not connected to the current stalemate.

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