News 2008


Kenyan refugees in Uganda fear returning home


Thu, 06 Mar 2008

Kampala, Uganda - More than 12,000 Kenyan refugees who poured across the border to Uganda during the country's post-election violence are afraid to go home despite a political settlement signed by rival leaders, the United Nations said Thursday.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, who visited the refugees on Tuesday, called upon Kenya's leaders to address the long-term issues that lie at the heart of the ethnic-based conflict. "We have been visiting the Kenyan refugees.

We have seen the anxiety among them. The people are still afraid to go back," he told reporters in the capital Kampala.

"Our appeal is for the commitment to engagement and the true reconciliation among the political leaders at the national level and they should promote reconciliation among the communities."

Kenya's parliament reopens Thursday for the first time since the momentous power-sharing deal was signed one week ago.

While violence has generally eased, the country remains volatile and deep rifts have developed between ethnic groups, who once lived side by side. The conflict over disputed polls unleashed violence that exposed Kenya's deep-rooted tribal tensions, which stem from a feeling of economic and political marginalization by many ethnicities.