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Kenya beefs up security near border with South Sudan

18 December 2013, 08:15

Turkana - Kenyan authorities said Tuesday security along the border with South Sudan and at the refugee camp in the northwest region has been increased to prevent any fighting and an influx of South Sudanese fleeing clashes in Juba.

Turkana West police commander Jonathan Ngala also said no refugee has crossed over into Kenya as a result of the clashes in Juba.

Ngala said security forces are patrolling the border as well as the Kakuma refugee camp to prevent any outbreak of fighting among the refugees living at the camp, which mainly hosts refugees from South Sudan.

"We suspected there might be an influx of Southern Sudanese who will be seeking refuge in the country. But so far none has sought refuge here," Ngala told Xinhua by telephone.

"We have also enhanced patrols at the Kakuma refugee camp just in case violence spills into the camps among the refugees who come from different clans. But so far it's quiet," he added.

South Sudan President Kiir has ordered a curfew after what he said was an attempted coup by soldiers loyal to his former vice president.

Kiir said Monday the government was in full control of the capital, Juba, where heavy gunfire erupted at a military facility overnight. There were no immediate reports of casualties from the fighting.

The president blamed troops allied with Riek Machar, a political rival whom he fired as vice president in July.

The international community including the UN has expressed concern over the situation unfolding in Juba, calling for restraint from both sides.

The UN Mission in South Sudan said in a statement that hundreds of civilians have sought refuge at its compound, while denying "any suggestion" that it is harboring political or military figures.

The Kenyan police commander said, "There is no tension at the camp. It's peaceful as most refugees here do not know what is happening in their country. But we will still continue with our patrols inside the camp and along the border."

He said it is essential to assure all South Sudan nationals from different clans at the camp of tight security amid clashes and high tension in Juba.

- Xinhua


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