Letter from the Editor
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