'Kenyan cops abuse refugees'

NAIROBI - Hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees in Kenya suffer extortion and abuse by corrupt and violent police, Human Rights Watch said.

NAIROBI - Hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees in Kenya suffer extortion and abuse by corrupt and violent police, Human Rights Watch said.

The human rights watchdog yesterday also accused the Kenyan authorities of forcibly deporting hundreds of asylum seekers trying to reach the camp, according to a new report: From Horror to Hopelessness: Kenya's forgotten Somali Refugee Crisis.

More than 250000 refugees live in Dadaab's three overcrowded camps in the arid, poverty-stricken northeast of Kenya - the world's largest refugee settlement.

"People escaping the violence in Somalia need protection and help, but instead face more danger, abuse and deprivation," the report said.

The two-year Islamic insurgency has killed more than 17000 civilians, forced more than a million to flee their homes and left more than three million people - a third of the population - dependent on emergency food aid. - Reuters

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