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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

SOMALIA: Fire again sweeps through Bosaso camp

NAIROBI, 31 July 2003 (IRIN) - Over 150 dwellings are reported to have been destroyed when a fire swept through a camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Bosaso, the commercial capital of the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland.

Muhammad Sa'id Kashawito of the Bosaso-based Midnimo Radio told IRIN the fire broke out at the Buulo Elay camp on Wednesday morning and raged for about two hours. "At least 150 families have lost their shelters and what few personal belongings they had," he said.

The cause of the fire has not yet been established, but Kashawito told IRIN it was probably due to cooking fire or a burning cigarette end. "The dwellings are made of a very flimsy material which can easily catch fire," he noted.

He added this was the second time this month that fire had broken out at the camp. In the first, five people were killed and over 1,200 families displaced.

Local government officials are expected to visit the camp to assess the latest fire damage.

Most of the estimated 28,000 IDPs in the Bosaso area come from southern regions of Somalia, having fled insecurity in their home areas.

A UN-appointed independent expert on human rights for Somalia, Dr Ghanim Al-Najjar, who visited the Buulo Elay camp last year, said the IDPs were living in "sub-human conditions", which were among the worst he had ever seen.


Themes: (IRIN) Refugees/IDPs



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