July 24, 2010
The UN Refugee Agency ( UNHCR) is alarmed that the treatment of uprooted Somali civilians has deteriorated, both inside Somalia and in the surrounding region, a UN spokesman said on Friday.
Martin Nesirky, the spokesman for the UN secretary-general, told reporters that UNHCR cites growing numbers of incidents of xenophobia, round-ups and deportations of displaced Somalis against the background of recent terrorist attacks.
"UNHCR says it is receiving frequent reports of verbal and physical harassment in communities, as well as arrests, arbitrary detention, extortion and even push-backs of Somali refugees," the spokesman said.
"It is particularly worried by the action by the local authorities of Somalia's Puntland region in pushing back more than 900 internally displaced people (IDPs) to conflict-stricken central Somalia this past Tuesday and Wednesday," he said.
Many of the 200,000 people who have fled their homes in war- torn Somalia this year are trapped in the country as routes out become increasingly dangerous, reports said.