Refugee Man Attacked by Locals
Volume 1, Issue 4-5 / March-April 2009
A young Sudanese man named Jacob was attacked by two locals on 6th February 2009 in the early afternoon while walking home to Zone One from Zone Three where he was visiting relatives.
Jacob left his relatives’ house around noon and decided to walk home via the route through the laggae (seasonal riverbed) to shorten his jaunt. Jacob encountered two local men around the area of Bor Town High School in the laggae.
“They were wearing white shirts with sheets wrapped around their waist,” Jacob recounts. “We were approaching each other. They surrounded me and asked me for money in Kiswahili. ‘Hau aropyai, leta pesa!’”
Jacob says that two men insisted until one of them struck him on the back with his walking stick.
“I tried to force myself out of their hands but they threatened to cut me with their knives. I struggled with them till I ran, but they threw one of the longest walking sticks between my legs and I fell down.” says Jacob.
They beat Jacob repeatedly with the walking stick until one of them stepped on his leg. “This is where I realized that my leg was broken,” says Jacob. “The bones were not in the right position.”
“I tried to call for help but unfortunately there was no one at the laggae to help me,” says Jacob. The attackers fumbled in his pockets but found no money, taking his watch instead.
At last Jacob was rescued by five Sudanese young men who came from the direction of Kakuma Town. The Sudanese youth ran after the attackers, but the locals outran their pursuers to the area of Pokotom Primary School where they disappeared into a thick stand of thorny desert trees (known as vegus).
Jacob was carried to the roadside by the five young men, where an ambulance was called and he was rushed to IRC Hospital. Jacob was then transferred to Kakuma Mission Hospital in town, where he stayed for three weeks.
Jacob reports that doctors attended to him on the third day in Kakuma Mission Hospital, and he was advised to buy crutches for support. He was discharged on 21st February 2009 and transferred to the IRC Main Hospital, where he was given medication and sent home the same day.
The incident was reported to local Sudanese security and forwarded to the GSU (General Services Unit of Kenyan Police). It was not reported to UNHCR. The attackers still have not been identified.
Generally, security in the camp has been improving since the Kenyan GSU troops (General Services Unit) were deployed with the police in July 2008.
KANERE attempted to seek comment from the District Officer on the incident, but he was away from the office and could not be reached.