Kakuma News Reflector – A Refugee Free Press

KANERE – Registered as an NGO

Posted in Human Rights, News Updates by KANERE on November 30, 2013

Kakuma News Reflector (KANERE) has obtained its registration with the government as a national NGO in Kenya

Evidently, this comes as a great achievement through the efforts of Kanere’s dedicated exiled journalists who worked on voluntary basis with the assistances of Kanere’s legal advocates in Kenya.

Kanere would like to express appreciation for the legal support and advice from their immediate advocate, Rahma Jillo Advocate & Co. in Nairobi, in her adorable voluntary role through the NGO’s Coordination Board of Kenya. “Kenya is a fair country in terms of refugee protection and to KANERE, the services we offered are pro bono,” said Advocate Rahma Jillo.

Kanere’s registration was approved through the NGOs Coordination Board under the Ministry of State for National Heritage and Culture. “We’re pleased to announce that Kanere’s registration is an important step forward by the government. It’s a great achievement despite prolonged delays in securing the registration,” said Group CEO & founding editor – Qaabata Boru.

The UNHCR has in the past influenced the local government and spoken against the Kanere News Service since the inception of the newsletter. The reason being that the UNHCR is accustomed to enjoying a monopoly of information where it delivers humanitarian aid. Since Kanere is devoted to independent reporting on the truth of the matter in the 22 years old camp, the UNHCR declined to support Kanere until they are allowed to play a vital role in the editorial decision making of the paper, but Kanere refused the censorship.

In 2009, KANERE’s registration as a Community Based Organization (CBO) was derailed by the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR after it refused to support an independent refugee free press and influenced the local government in blocking the registration. Kanere’s registration papers that were confiscated at that time still remain with the authority.

In both the local and international arenas, law firms and advocates stood with Kanere in times of difficulties and press reprisals by the Camp authority.

Dr. Ekuru Aukot, an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya who holds a PhD in International Refugee Law, contributed to the protection of KANERE – A Refugee Free Press – in the following article; http://kanere.org/2009/02/28/who-believes-in-the-rights-of-immigrants-do-refugees-in-kenya-have-the-right-to-a-free-press/

“Refugees are warehoused, isolated in a remote desert. We’d like to increase a stronger voice, advocating for refugee rights and bringing together the diverse community of Kakuma.” Group Chairman Ibrahim Gindicha.

“Kanere News is a platform that does not only covers the refugee issues but includes the marginalized host communities of Turkana. It’s an initiative to be funded equally,” said a Turkana District information officer.

In the past the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants based in New York has sent letters of support to the UNHCR Associate High Commissioner for Protection in Geneva asking the UNHCR to support KANERE Project and to consider ways to use it to spark and support similar efforts in all the refugee camps where the agency has access.

Today, as a legal entity KANERE welcomes support, mutual understanding and collaboration from the Kenya Government Department in Turkana County, Department for Refugee Affairs, The UNHCR Head of Sub-Office and the humanitarian refugee assistance operations either at local, regional and international level.

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