The number of Somali refugees in a series of camps in an arid, harsh area of south-eastern Ethiopia has passed the 170,000 mark, making Dollo Ado the world’s second largest refugee complex.
“Dollo Ado is now the world’s biggest refugee camp after Dadaab in Kenya,” UNHCR spokesman Andrej Mahecic said, adding that although the rate of arrivals at Dollo Ado has slowed this year, people are continuing to flee conflict and insecurity in southern and central parts of Somalia. Many cite fear of harassment and forced recruitment by armed groups who control large rural areas of the country.
Between January and the end of September this year, some 62,000 Somalis became refugees in the region surrounding their country. More than 25,000 of these fled to Ethiopia – making it the largest recipient of Somali refugees in the region so far this year.
By comparison Yemen registered 15,000 Somali refugees, Kenya 13,000, Uganda 6,800 and Djibouti 2,300 over the same period. Overall the number of Somali refugees in the region numbers more than 1 million.