Refugee Protest Following Insecurity Situation
Hundreds of Kakuma camp residents staged a protest following frequent murders by unidentified gunmen.
On the night of 5th August 2012, at about 10:30 in Kakuma 3 zone 1 block 14, four men, two armed with AK47 rifles and two others armed with crude weapons, accessed the compound of late Feisal Abdi Adan aged 25 and murdered him.
Feisal arrived in Kenya in 2008 where he was first registered as a refugee in Dadaab and later relocated by UNHCR to Kakuma camp in 2009.
The robbers deliberately started beating the whole family members and neighbours who were relaxing outside the living rooms after breaking a long day fasting during the Islamic Holy month of Ramadhan.
They ordered everyone to lie down at gun point. They started beating, looting mobile phones, watches and asking for money. The refugee beneficiaries of food aid were so poor that they weren’t able to raise any cash.
Without warning the robbers fired a gun at Feisal Abdi. According to survivors who were interviewed by KANERE, they robbed every one in the plot of their mobile phones and shot at Feisal Abdi when he tried to resist. “They beat all of us; Feisal was bleeding on the head before they fired two bullets.” Said a victim’s brother in tears.
They were eight people in the compound and among them four complained to have been seriously assaulted. Only one bullet hit Feisal Abdi in his stomach, below the lower left kidney while the other bullet missed everyone in view. He fell down with a lot of bleeding where the bullet exited his body at the back leaving a wider opening. “I was very shocked over this, I don’t see the reason to live, and the situation is dark.” another relative told Kanere.
In that awful situation all the victims were transported to the refugee hospital by camp ambulance assisted by local refugee guards. The police patrol visited the scene after 20 minutes according to survivors interviewed in the camp hospital.
In the same night Feisal was referred to the Kakuma mission hospital for further treatment following both internal and external bleeding. Unfortunately at about 4 a.m. Feisal passed away while under treatment at Kakuma mission hospital.
On the morning of 6th August, refugees, majority being Somalis from Kakuma 3, organized a protest that marched towards UNHCR and the NGOs’ premises which are about 10km away.
By around 09:00 hours information about the protest had spread throughout the camp. Hundreds of the camp residents joined and formed a protest camp wide. By about 10:00 hours peaceful demonstrators clouded the UNHCR entrance as the crowd was gathering more.
At around 10:30 hours, the police arrived at the ground of protest; their arrival was not welcomed by the peaceful protesters. It seems likely they were given orders to disperse the demonstrations. There was no official from UNHCR who addressed the crowd that were demanding security and protection over increased killings and insecurity in the life of refugees in the camp.
Suddenly, police started using tear gas to disperse the protests. People were very angry at the police but fearful of their guns. The police later started beating refugees indiscriminately forcing them to go back into the camp sites.
Many of the refugees suffered assaults while some were taken to the refugee hospital where they received treatment. In speaking with KANERE journalists, some refugees have complained about police assaults, yet others stated to be sleeping in fear at nights. “I was not in protest, I was beaten while crossing the road to other street.” Fatuma told Kanere speaking in the female ward at the camp hospital. “I know the police officer who beat me, I am in fear.” She added.
At around 15:40 hours on the same day, the body of Feisal Abdi was laid to rest at Kakuma 2 cemetery which is the newly opened graveyard in the 21 year old camp. Up till the end of the day the families of the victims were never contacted by the camp authority in terms of their insecurity situation in block 14.
In July this year, a Somali male and a Sudanese male refugee were murdered in Kakuma 3 settlement area by unidentified gunmen who have terrorized the camp. Kanere approached both Kakuma police station and UNHCR Office but the authority declined to provide comments on the insecurity situations in the camp violating their own camp policy for not speaking to press.
A journalist from Kanere has faced threats for critical news and advocating for refugee rights. A journalist who is also a senior writer for Kanere was blocked and threatened by camp security during refugee riots coverage.
Names not real!