Kakuma News Reflector – A Refugee Free Press

Letter from the Editor

Posted in Letter from the Editor by KANERE on August 28, 2013

To all Kanere readers and supporters,

It is only now that we have finally gotten the 14th issue of KANERE online but don’t worry “a bad beginning makes a good ending”. This is a double issue of Kanere, thanks to our reporters and other contributors to the publication.

We intend to produce KANERE in a quarterly edition but that would entirely depend on the efforts of Kanere staff, feasibility and the climate of media freedom within the Kakuma environs. However, we would want to move Kanere onto the next level by producing a print version to reach out to most vulnerable members of the refugee community who could not be able to read Kanere online. It would cost a lot for now but when amicable funds are made available, we intend to produce more than a thousand copies per issue.

In this edition, I welcome an academic feature contribution by Mandy Jam, a Dutch graduate student in cultural anthropology, based at Leiden University, the Netherlands. Mandy conducted her ethnographic research for MA that focuses on refugees’ perceptions and other competing discourses on the mode of governmentality within the camp, while considering the desperate situation of refugee adults who are born in Kenya camps – but have no right to citizenship.

Secondly, we take this opportunity to welcome a “Refugee Newsletter” produced and managed by an NGO in Kakuma. The new twist is sponsored and edited by FilmAid that works under the umbrella of UNHCR. While Kanere is run and entirely operated by refugee exile journalists completely independent of humanitarian control.

In this edition, we have compiled multiple stories for you; despite the fact that Kakuma has always been marked by insecurity and violence, the camp was relatively calm for several months. However, in late May there were incidents of clashes between the Sudanese Nuer community and members of Turkana’s host community.

In the Lokori area in Turkana, banditry has been frequent and has claimed at least three lives between 17th – 27th April when an unknown number of raiders armed with AK47 rifles attacked a group of Turkana women who had gone to fetch water and firewood, while in a separate incident, around 30 bandits attacked a Public Service Vehicle, setting it ablaze while the passengers escaped unhurt according to G4S April monthly report.

At Kanere News, the unfavorable climate of press freedom in Kakuma has resulted in a few journalists leaving on insecurity cases while a few reporters stepped aside from voluntary contributing to Kanere as they lacked support from the camp authority.

In December 2012, the government passed a negative directive to force urban refugees into camps, which later escalated to a dramatic increase in attacks. In January, the Kenyan High Court ordered the authorities to suspend the refugee relocation plans according to which more than 50,000 refugees and asylum seekers are supposed to leave urban areas of Kenya, but by the middle of May the court had not yet made a ruling on the negative decision.

However, in May, at least 45 refugees traveling to Nairobi were arrested on their way and arraigned at Eldoret court and charged with being illegal migrants, while at least six people died in the April – May floods in Kakuma.

And still the UNHCR Head of Sub-Office continues to receive the influx of new arrivals, the majority being South Sudanese. In the annual event of World Refugee Day, tens and thousands turned out to mark the historic event at Napata grounds in the camp. There are several other interesting stories that constitute this publication.

On our social media, we bring up news and events around the camp and Kakuma town with Kanere reporters in different sections of Kakuma; we bring up debatable issues. Tell us about your experiences, thoughts, let us read the latest and reality reporting on the unfolding happening inside a refugee camp.

Kanere would like to receive contributions from both the host and refugee communities and the NGOs’ staff, as we welcome diversity of culture in these multinational interactions. We truly believe that journalism should be strengthened, but not undermined, looking at the current status of journalism practiced in Kakuma. With no doubts you’ll find the difference between KANERE (a refugee-run) and an NGO-run newsletter!

We’re open to suggestions and debate on refugee affairs. In this true spirit of independent refugee media inside the camp, we will need your support to grow and develop! Share your experiences with us, pitch in news tips and send us feedback on our stories and concerns to, kakuma.news@gmail.com

Anyone can get involved in supporting and towards strengthening development of Kanere. Keep spreading the message in your networks, and you may ‘like’ Kanere on our social media page. I hope you’ll enjoy reading our issues.

Till next edition!



Qaabata Boru

Editorial Executive 

Quotes of the months January to June 2013

Posted in Quotes of the Month by KANERE on August 28, 2013

“I started living in this camp from 1997 under plastic tents; we don’t want to live for another 16 years again. What is the meaning of permanent shelters in 2013?”

– Aziza Zenawi said in an interview/ “From Tents into Permanent Blocks”


“It’s complicated, the attackers are southerners who are masterminded by David Yau-Yau who is Murle by tribe rebelling against the government of South Sudan,”

– Peter Lam told Kanere outside UNHCR premises/ “Kakuma Camp Continues to Receive New Arrivals”


“I felt the rain was too strong with flooding, since the time I started living in Kakuma, it never rained like that day,”

– said an eye witness who saw the corpse lying swollen in the river/ “At least six died in Kakuma floods”

“All the assistance provisions were insufficient and irregular rations coming at an intervals of three to five months. We lost six members who died due to starvation in the past,”

– Luomeyana Ekomuwa IDPs leader/ “Marginalized IDPs in Kakuma”

“The security officers visit my store and demand bribes on daily basis,”

– Abdulrizack Mohamed told Kanere at 6th Street in Eastleigh, Nairobi/ “Government Crackdown on Refugees”

“Without any word, they got into the bus and warned everyone to produce their identity, no sooner, they started calling us Al-shabaab and ordering the bus driver to take us to the Eldoret Police Station,”

– an anonymous Somali refugee told Kanere/ “Somali Dayah Bus with Passengers on Board Arrested in Eldoret Town”

“My village was attacked in the dead of the night, I was raped; other children were abducted, I managed to escape,”

– a South Sudanese rape victim/ “Kakuma Camp Continues to Receive New Arrivals”

“I know some of the people who killed my brother, I saw people killed with machetes,”

–  an anonymous IDP member/ “Marginalized IDPs in Kakuma”


“I was in a refugee camp for the last 20 years, while about 20% arrived later; in Dadaab, a person can be killed in the market without finding the killers.”

– Fara Ibrahim a refugee leader of transit group/ “From Tents into Permanent Blocks”

“From what I witnessed, I have learnt that more than seven refugees have so far died in floods in Kakuma,”

– A Somali refugee leader at Kakuma1 Zone6 said in an interview/ “At least six died in Kakuma floods”

“I paid Ksh. 3,000 to a police officer for consideration and another officer re-arrested me. Even after a night in the prison, we contribute money to receive receipts of cash bails,” said an Interviewee who requested to remain anonymous/ “Somali Dayah Bus with Passengers on Board Arrested in Eldoret Town”

“I can’t bear the high humidity under the tent, it burning my soul, it’s too bright outside, waiting next step in life,”

– said a Ugandan two weeks old in Kakuma/ “Kakuma Camp Continues to Receive New Arrivals”

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A Poem for UNHCR

Posted in Arts by KANERE on August 28, 2013

By Ayellow

We are like microorganisms

in a dry riverbed. The Earth, the wind

and our native countries unite to persecute us.

Our countries dispose of us, the earth broils us

and the wind blows us away, de-graded

and traumatized. We have no allies. We only

have U, beloved UNHCR. Life is wind erosion,

Life is dispersing us like dust.

Lucky citizens of the world, if you have

time to breathe today, or go to the beach,

I beg you to look out for us. We are always there

blowing in the wind or sinking in boats

from across your golden beaches.

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World Refugee Day: Kakuma at a Glance

Posted in Human Rights, News Updates by KANERE on August 28, 2013

By Qaabata Boru

Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp has warehoused tens of thousands of refugees for decades. (more…)

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From Tents into Permanent Blocks

Posted in Humanitarian Services, News Updates by KANERE on August 28, 2013

In the fall of 2012, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, started constructing permanent houses for refugees in Kakuma 3 settlement section mostly inhabited by new arrivals. (more…)

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Government Crackdown on Refugees

Posted in Human Rights, News Updates by KANERE on August 28, 2013

Refugees living in the urban centers of Nairobi have faced harsh mistreatment since December 2012, when the Kenyan government passed an order to force refugees into the camps. (more…)

Kakuma Camp Continues to Receive New Arrivals

Posted in Humanitarian Services, News Updates by KANERE on August 28, 2013

The UNHCR Sub-Office at Kakuma continues to receive an influx of new arrivals on daily basis since the first quarter of this year. (more…)

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New NGO Run-Newsletter Enhances News Access in Kakuma

Posted in Humanitarian Services, News Updates by KANERE on August 28, 2013

FilmAid International Kakuma has launched a refugee newsletter under the umbrella of UNHCR (more…)

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Somali Dayah Bus with Passengers on Board Arrested in Eldoret Town

Posted in Human Rights, News Updates by KANERE on August 28, 2013

More than 45 refugees boarding the Dayah bus express were arrested and arraigned at Eldoret Main Court and charged with the offence of being illegal immigrants. (more…)

At Least Six Died in Kakuma Floods

Posted in News Updates by KANERE on August 28, 2013

The heavy downpour in the months of April – May resulted in at least six people dying and two reported missing   (more…)

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Marginalized IDPs in Kakuma

Posted in Human Rights, Kakuma Town and Kenya, News Updates by KANERE on August 28, 2013

With the greater influx of a predominantly refugee population in Kakuma, the numbers of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) lack attention from their own government. (more…)

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On Kakuma’s Citizens

Posted in Contributors, Kakuma Town and Kenya, News Updates by KANERE on August 28, 2013

By Mandy Jam

During the months I spent doing fieldwork in Kakuma, KANERE’s team asked me several times to contribute a piece to the newspaper. (more…)