To our esteemed readers here and abroad,
On the 22nd of December 2012, KANERE celebrated its 4th year anniversary. On this important occasion, Kanere looks back on different security threats suffered by staffs imposed by camp authority, reporting difficulties and lack of operational funding over years delaying publications for months.
Since KANERE started several camp developments took positive effect. The paper fosters the involvement of civil society in a situation where the camp authorities never wish to allow free flow of information. We therefore inform authorities in refugee protection once again, that the existence of Independent refugee media is necessary to any open and democratic society including refugee camps. The UNHCR and other humanitarian operations, had only to suggest the use of force to suppress reporters due to the politicized camp structure where compromise jeopardizes the safety and protection of true refugee journalists.
In the regional news, a literally named “Little Mogadishu” in Nairobi has experienced several grenade explosions with many lives lost in the month of December alone. This has caused the Kenyan government to call on all refugees to move to camps with immediate effect and threatening to withdraw all aid to refugees living in urban areas. By mid December there have been arbitrary arrests of refugees residing in areas of Eastleigh, Nairobi. Is this an appropriate response to security concerns? Kanere appeals against this move, as it’s discriminatory and a violation of freedom of movement.
In Turkana District several incidents of cattle rustling were reported frequently between Turkana herders and Pokot raiders. To curb the rustling menace government has started a disarmament operation in west Pokot among other districts in the region.
On Wednesday 24th October, Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser Al-Missned of Qatar and Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees made a visit to Kakuma. The purpose of the visit was for the Sheikha to familiarize herself with refugee education in this camp in connection with the Educate a Child Initiative which she is launching in collaboration with UNHCR.
On 26th October, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, H.E. Anne Richard, visited Kakuma as part of her mission to Kenya. Refugee leaders were able to make the case that half of the camp residents would need resettlement abroad as a durable solution for protracted displacement.
In this edition numerous accounts of sexual violence have persisted. A Somali woman aged 50 was gang raped and two others suffered similar assault at gunpoint. A defilement story of a schoolgoing refugee child tells the magnitude of prevailing sexual exploitation and abuse committed by guards. Meanwhile in August, the camp residents staged a protest after continued insecurity where refugees are killed by gunshots. A journalist at Kanere was blocked and threatened for covering the riots.
KANERE welcomes Awet Andemicael, a Doctoral student from Yale University in USA, providing refugees with insight about the importance of artistic events in refugee camps. Her article on the subject teaches that in a warehousing situation where refugees live every day of their life with fear, insecurity, isolation, and boredom, the introduction of artistic events can make a real difference.
For Rwandan refugees the worst morning is awaiting those who are still alive when application of the cessation clause on June 30th, 2013 shall revoke their refugee brand ‘ration cards’ in Kakuma.
Despite the continued challenges, Kanere aims to improve the human rights condition in refugee camps through courageous and independent journalism that adheres to the highest integrity, accuracy and ethical conduct.
Finally, we direct our readers and audience to read our site, ‘like’ our facebook page at this link, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kanere-News/161557433968809, share out and keep lively discussion of what is of value and to be addressed.
We wish you a prosperous Happy New Year 2013,
KANERE editor in chief
Dear KANERE readers here and abroad,
First and foremost, I want to thank you for your loyalty to both exile journalists in KANERE and our supporters who find our work meaningful out of Kakuma refugee camp.
The past four months were generally calm inside the camp though a few cases of insecurity incidents have been reported in parts of the settlement. However, life was marked by different phenomena like natural calamities. The heavy downpour between the months of March to May caused flooding that resulted in five refugees and two members of the host community being drowned. March to June received plenty of rain, it was mild, and it was cold, warm and flooding. That is all about the weather.
In this edition: The influx of new arrivals to Kakuma following the communal conflicts, bombings and border violence for Sudanese. For Somalis violent conflicts, suicide attacks and inhuman crimes committed by Al-Shabaab insurgents are still forcing thousands of children and women into the 20 year old camp of Dadaab which now holds the shameful name of being the biggest refugee camp in the world. Dadaab Camp explosions and kidnappings are continuing and have paralyzed the humanitarian life saving operation in that camp which holds an estimated population of 500,000 refugees by mid July. In Turkana County the host communities saw a new dawn of hope after oil was discovered in the region. Several other stories constituted our publication. Yet again thousands of the camp residents turned up to commemorate the World Refugee Day in Kakuma camp this year.
KANERE has been running on a voluntary basis and amicable funding for the continuation of a refugee voice out of Kakuma has been stonewalled. As you can imagine, volunteers are working without payment. However, we feel a tremendous sense of responsibility to continue publishing for our audience – a role represented by the reporting project. We all try to do the best we can with no resources. As this situation is critical for the paper, we appeal to those who better understand KANERE to take a step forward in support of the refugee voice.
I’m happy to say that we appreciate the legal back up from press freedom and defenders’ groups. We seek potential supporters who will always stand with us, and should continue to be authentic in times ahead.
We direct and advise our audience and readers at internship to visit our archives online to find past and current editions of KANERE. And we remain as ever focused on balanced, independent and quality reporting.
I welcome any and all suggestions, critical questions or criticisms in relation to KANERE’s work. We also invite news tips from camp residents, members of the host community, humanitarian officials and our readers from abroad.
Thank you very much for reading,
KANERE editor in chief
Dear KANERE readers and prospective supporters,
We here at Kakuma and its environs are experiencing very hot, dry weather with plenty of dust storms at the moment. The number of refugees in Kakuma grows everyday. The security situation, however, is not adjusted for these numbers and has been deteriorating. The relationship between refugees and the host community population continues to be unstable. It was sad that there were no new publications from KANERE since last year, but we hope that this edition will be more comprehensive and will cover more aspects of camp life.
To reduce the risk of crime inside the camp proper security measures are required. The security situation in Turkana County, along the international boarders with South Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia has been reported to be calm. In the fall of 2011, however, security alertness was enhanced for humanitarian operations in camps like the Daadab Complex following the ongoing efforts of the Kenya Defense Forces in Somalia against Al–Shabaab. At Kakuma, there was no alarming security threat though alertness was enhanced in the compounds and along the Kakuma airstrip.
Several cattle raids have been reported among Turkana and Pokot herders who are from Turkana East and South Districts. Jie and Topozas cattle raiders from Uganda remain hostile to Turkana. These situations escalate over scarce pasture and water due to a long dry season. The main highway through the North western corridor from Kitale – Lodwar – Kakuma – Lokichokio has also experienced incidents and confrontations with bandits; however the UN and NGOs staff at Kakuma are accustomed to use armed police escorts on this highway.
I want to note my sincere appreciation for KANERE journalists who have tirelessly worked on this edition entirely on a voluntary basis. It is not easy running a newspaper without funding. We want to also thank the KANERE community here and abroad for their legal and moral support of our work. We need this support so that publication can continue on a bimonthly basis. This issue will cover different developments that have happened in the camp since last November. Though this publication has been delayed, we hope our readers will find it useful and worthwhile coverage.
The new camp address initiative has been welcomed by camp residents. Shelter inadequacies have been a serious problem in the camp leading not only to congestion but also to the tragic death of a child upon the collapse of a house. A murder occurred and violent robberies have terrorized residents of the camp. For Rwandans the refugee ‘cessation clause’ seems like a death penalty. Many efforts were made to postpone the previous UNHCR deadline for revoking refugee status from already recognized persons or group. The new Camp Constitution and election procedures have divided public opinion in the camp.
Refugee encampment and warehousing policies have ‘highly politicized meaning’ that drive donors to give aid to ensure and sustain the survival of innocent victims of violent power struggles. The warehousing situation has distorted refugee understanding of how they are forced to migrate from they home to arrive in situations of harm, humiliation, degradation and abuse in various camp settlements around the world. More than 100 refugees were arrested and questioned last December over the explosion at the Ifo Refugee Camp in Dadaab complex. This created waves of insecurity in refugee camps across the country where movement of refugees out of the camps has been severely restricted.
Camps should provide better protection. Refugees should not be overlooked. Educated and talented refugees who were once civil servants, refugee activists and exiled journalists are not allowed to exercise their talents in their host countries. KANERE urges that refugees in Kenyan camps and around the globe be given dignified recognition of ‘full’ not just ‘basic’ human rights. They deserve to be treated professionally. The 1951 Refugee Convection states the ‘basic’ rights which have become fundamental, such as the ‘refugee’ definition and their right to ‘non-refoulement’. Refugees should not merely be warehoused in camps, sheltered and fed on 3gms of cereals per day. They are productive citizens of the world. The UN and world leaders should recognize the contributions of noble men and women who were once refugees like Albert Einstein and Madeleine Albright.
We hope you will enjoy reading this KANERE issue. We welcome your lively comments, contributions and questions. You can write to us at: email@example.com
KANERE Editor in Chief,
Dear KANERE readers and prospective supporters:
We apologize for the delayed publication of this issue. Publication was hindered by challenges and struggles that render tenuous the very existence of free press in the Kakuma refugee camp. Indeed, without determined efforts from the entire KANERE community here and abroad we might have not come this far.
KANERE’s operations, which function on a voluntary basis, have been impeded by mounting dangers. These dangers include: threats to security, prolonged droughts, high mortality rates at the refugee camp hospital and violent conflict within the camp. The usually short rain season, for example, has intensified famine for the livestock of local pastoralists in Turkana. Inside the camp, however, flooding from rainfall in May caused considerable damage to hundreds of shelters. These themes emerge repeatedly in the articles that follow.
Luckily, there is good news as well. The KANERE community is immensely grateful to the planners who put the camp under a new address and blocking system, enhancing accessibility and directions to the camp settlement. The number of Camp and urban refugees reading KANERE daily has also gradually increased through computer and mobile phone technologies. Our readers extend discussion of these stories with comments and contributions on our blog. We encourage readers inside and outside Kakuma to support us by telling and distributing the stories to others.
KANERE’s objective is to enable and promote the existence of civil society, currently fractured and facing many perils inside the camp. Most gravely, the forceful suppression of free press has created a self-perpetuating crisis. This censorship is experienced intimately in daily life. To be sure the stories in this issue reveal multiple powerful paradoxes that are not easily resolved. Underpinning these is the persistence of human suffering!
KANERE represents the only organized effort toward a sustainable civil society inside the Kakuma refugee camp. We ask the standard-bearers of human rights stand with us and protect those whose rights are routinely violated in the Kakuma refugee camp. We hope that our readers enjoy the articles, and we encourage you all to make contributions to the Refugee Free Press and post comments on our stories so we can continue this lively conversation.
2010-11 Winter Quarterly (November-December-January)
To all KANERE readers here and abroad:
In the life of journals KANERE turned its second year in December 2010, and its writers continue to stand strong in advocating for refugees. This quarterly winter issue marks the last news dispatches from the year 2010 and early 2011.
We send our wishes for a pleasant 2011 to all our readers, supporters and criticizers, wherever you may be. We would like to send note of thanks to all our readers and supporters throughout the last year and to encourage you to continue with us in the same spirit this year.
While life in the camp has seen little change over the past three months, the Sudanese Referendum marked a defining moment for Sudan. It is a real test for many Southerners worried about their relatives who live on both sides of the North and South. Everyone is thinking: unity or break away? Kakuma was cited as a major voting centre in the Rift Valley Province.
Numerous incidents of violence punctuated the holiday season as refugees were reported dead on the outskirts of camp or in their own homes. In early January 2011, a fire erupted in the refugee community of Kakuma One, sending several refugees to the hospital and destroying properties valued at hundreds of thousands Kenya shillings.
Human right organizations have released alarming reports on protracted refugee situations, calling attention to serious harassment and rights violations of refugees and asylum seekers in their countries of asylum. According to an Amnesty International report released in December 2010, the harassment of Somali refugees by Kenyan police and soldiers has reached intolerable levels.
The weather in Kakuma and its surrounding environs during the past three months remained dry and sunny characterized by cold nights.
As we speak in a louder voice, we appeal for better protection of refugees and asylum seekers in Kenya and urge an end to encampment policy! We wish a peaceful environment in Southern Sudan.
To all KANERE readers here and abroad:
We are delighted to release this issue. It is tremendous honor to speak on behalf of all the thousands of refugees in camps who don’t have the chance to scream to the world that “Yes, we exist!”
Despite the lack of resources and the funding for the paper, volunteer KANERE journalists always have determination to keep the candle burning!
For the last three months, the life in the camp was marked by high-profile visitors, as the Chief UNHCR High Commissioner Geneva embarked on the second visit to Kakuma Camp since the camp’s establishment in 1992. His visit was marked by the provision of street lights through a community lighting project. Refugees are eagerly waiting the successful start of lighting systems in the communities.
The security of the camp rose and fell at times: a baby boy was killed by a gunshot, while a man was recently killed at Kakuma Four and many others seriously injured following similar attacks.
In Kakuma Town and Kenya, the country had a very successful Referendum that was followed by the promulgation. The country celebrated its first national holiday after the rebirth of the Nation on the 20th October 2010 for Mashujaa Day.
On the international scene, 90 journalists were killed in Mexico’s most deadly area while they were on duty, according to the Media Watchdog Press Emblem Campaign. We send our prayers and solidarity.
Kindly, post your comments and views on our blog or write to the Editor at Kakuma.firstname.lastname@example.org.
We believe you will enjoy reading KANERE!
Dear our Respectable readers here and abroad,
We are humbly grateful to Almighty God for He has allowed us to reach this far on this our small planet. KANERE strongly apologies for this many months delayed publications of course for some reasons. Though this issues comes to your attention late we still believe that there are meaningful.
I thank the potential KANERE staff for their work until now despite the scenes we encountered in the course of early this year that got reported or are left out interrupting our normal routines, we have always believe in our strengths as we shall definitely keep on working towards ensuring the continuation of KANERE.
For over five months, life in Kakuma camp was remarked by several insecurity problems. In the late April to May there has been tremendous heavy down pour which caused camps flooded leading to several refugees thatched muddy wall shelters were washed away. A local Turkana boy and three Sudanese refugees died at the aggressive Kawalase seasonal flowing river which is approximately 1km to Lodwar town. In the refugee communities there had occurred few murder cases, several assaults and related serious Domestic violence cases reported.
In the world of the sport, the FIFA world cup taking place on the African soil for the first time, most camps movie halls, Tea and Coffee cafe’s here were over crowded as the football supporters and the fans feel for the game.
Being the great month in the world refugee calendar: thousands of the Kakuma refugees, International and national NGO Refugee Agencies with the concerned Kenya Government Departments taking a lead emerged at the Napata grounds to celebrate the world refugee day 2010.
The wider audiences out there keep your comments, thoughts and experiences alive. Address all the correspondences to myself at email@example.com
To all our readers here and abroad:
Hello again! On December 22nd 2009, the Kakuma News Reflector (KANERE) will celebrate its first year of existence. From the day of its creation until now, KANERE has done remarkable work in the fields of local news coverage, information sharing, and international correspondence. Many things have happened, and much has been said of our organization (see “KANERE in the News” for links).
Despite limitations to our smooth performance and operation, we are now polishing our shoes to step into the New Year.
During the last six months, life here in Kakuma Refugee Camp was marked by a few major changes and continuing uncertainty. While insecurity has persisted, one refugee man successfully thwarted an armed robbery by disarming the thugs. Thousands of Somali refugees were relocated to join us in Kakuma from Dadaab Camp; we welcome their arrival and ask them to join our communities and contribute their ideas to KANERE. On the health front, a cholera outbreak currently threatens thousands, and the controversial Mix-Me nutritional supplement is going through another round of testing.
I would like here to remember the unforgettable work done by the volunteer journalists, artists, editors, and supporters of KANERE. Their determination and patience sustained our good efforts and kept the free press alive during the difficult incidents encountered in the course of this year.
A special thanks goes out to all our supporters wherever they may be in the world, because their support has assured us that our work is meaningful and that others are watching. We hope that these connections will strengthen and grow through the next year ahead of us.
I welcome your comments, contributions, and experiences from all over the planet. Please direct all correspondence to myself at Kakuma.firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy holidays to all, and a prosperous New Year 2010!
The KANERE Editor
To all KANERE readers here and abroad:
Hello! We apologize that our May-June issue was not published in time due to a lack of the internet service and funds to run the operations as scheduled.
As a new incoming chief editor, Qaabata Boru, I recognize and thank our former editor, bethany ojalehto, for all her efforts. Her great inspirations and dedications have brought considerable changes in the Kakuma Refugee Camp.
Throughout May and June Kakuma was dusty from the wind that blows frequently for almost the whole month. Temperatures were very high. World Refugee Day on June 20th was also celebrated by all the NGO staff and refugees, and a bloody murder occurred among other events.
We are strengthening our commitment to a free press despite the challenges and limitations to carrying out operations.
KANERE appeals to any interested donor to fund the project.
I welcome all comments and contributions from all our readers on the planet.
Please address all correspondence to email@example.com.
the KANERE Editor,
Volume 1, Issue 4-5 / March-April 2009
To all KANERE readers, here and abroad:
We apologize that our last issue was not published due to a month-long internet blackout at the refugee camp cybercafé. Fortunately, the cybercafé was just restored and we are now re-connecting with the rest of Earth. Hello again!
Throughout March, life in Kakuma was getting hotter by the day, which may explain an unusual series of impassioned and fiery events. Refugee shelters were burnt to the ground in rage; a stampede erupted at the UNHCR head count; a UNHCR official fled field post amid a hail of stones; and several assaults and a shocking murder occurred.
Nonetheless, life went on and April brought a smattering of rains. We persisted in our journalism despite our disconnection—taking note of our histories and remarking on our happenings. Amid the perennial uncertainties of refugee life, we continue to ask the questions that need to be asked.
So enjoy this rather bulky double issue, and keep up the lively stream of comments.
Volume 1, Issue 3 / February 2009
To all KANERE readers, here and abroad:
Amid the flurry of reporting this February, we have concentrated on strengthening our professionalism and community presence.
KANERE journalists participated in a three-day training led by the Turkana District Information Officer, Leonard Wekesa Wafula. Lively debate arose as we negotiated the challenges of reporting in a refugee camp. How to determine what is of importance to refugees, locals, and the international community? How to deal with investigative stories in a sensitive climate? We continue to hone our skills in an evolving approach to refugee camp reporting.
We are mobilizing the community to create widespread awareness of KANERE’s objectives and to engage the entire community in a free press. In an introductory meeting with community leaders, there was deep consensus that KANERE fills a critical role that has been ignored far too long, and plans are underway to expand community outreach.
Last, but certainly not least, we are grateful to welcome the legal support of Kituo Cha Sheria, a legal aid clinic based in Nairobi. This month’s editorial contribution from Dr. Ekuru Aukot highlights the ways in which Kituo has already begun to strengthen KANERE’s operations.
Our third issue continues to address the concerns most pressing to refugees and locals, with creative and artistic contributions infused. Enjoy the read, and viva la refugee free press!
Volume 1, Issue 2 / January 2009
To all KANERE readers, here and abroad;
The second issue of the Kakuma News Reflector highlights the defining experiences of our growth so far.
We are consolidating our approach to human rights reporting, reflected most clearly in our feature report on the right to equal pay. We have also invited contributions from international experts on refugee affairs, enriching our coverage with views from Dr. Barbara Harrell-Bond, a leading refugee advocate, and Merrill Smith of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. Other advocates and scholars have expressed their willingness to contribute to future issues of KANERE.
We have received widespread support from the national and international community. The Kenyan Government has welcomed our initiative and we enjoy collaboration with local officials. We are delighted to welcome the support of international organizations and advocacy groups including Fahamu, the Southern Refugee Legal Aid Network, and the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, among others. Our story has been covered by media outlets as diverse as Pambazuka News and the Forced Migration Current Awareness blog, reaching thousands of readers across the globe.
We hope this issue edifies and enlightens, but also begins to spark change. As you read, please keep in mind our struggles and affirm our cause. Pass our story to media outlets; cross-list our blog with websites and online groups; and share your many comments! A free press means a freer refugee camp.