Letter from the Editor December 2013
Dear KANERE readers,
This is the last issue of the recently concluded year 2013, but there are still very many stories and news around the camp within the Turkana country that were left untold. Of course, we may not be able to accomplish everything and human resources are highly needed to help the refugee media to achieve its objectives.
However, we are continually making changes to improve refugee reporting in an open, transparent and free expression in comparison to humanitarian desired reporting on refugee protection and service deliveries in encampment. We will strive hard to remain vibrant in 2014.
In this issue we welcome a contribution from Brett Shadle, an Associate Professor of African History at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA. His contribution focuses on refugee rights violations under warehousing, questioning whether the refugees have the right to know about the impacts of decision making on their futures and life as they live in limbo!
We are tapping into the human aspect on the escalating deadly violence within the Turkana country that claimed at least 25 lives between the two rival communities of Turkana and Pokot in the fall of last year. The two nomadic groups often clash over cattle rustling and boundary disputes.
KANERE has interviewed a large number of Somali refugees on the community talking point: “What do you think about the Somali repatriation?” Their perspectives constitute a range of public opinion!
In Kakuma 1 camp settlement, a family mourns after their residential house burst into flames killing three children last December, that left unforgettable sad memories for many residents. In line with humanitarian best practices, the Refugee Consortium of Kenya (RCK) organized legal awareness forums in the season of the 16 Days of Gender Activism throughout Kakuma. The RCK’s legal awareness training was mostly welcomed as it was found meaningful by refugee communities in terms of their pro bono legal advice for refugees in the camp.
Moreover, the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) process has slowly been taken over from the UN Refugee Agency – UNHCR by the Kenyan Government through the Department of Refugee Affairs (DRA), which has assumed full responsibility for the RSD process in Kakuma refugee camp. In 1991, in unclear circumstances, UNHCR was given the responsibility of conducting the RSD on behalf of the Kenyan government. However after many decades of UNHCR performing the vital role of the state, the refugees and asylum seekers are unclear about UNHCR’s accountability! Have they failed the refugees?
On press freedom, one alarming incident was recorded over the year where a Kanere reporter was assaulted and his cell phone crushed by an NGO local guard as he photographed an event in September 2013. The matter was reported to the police and justice is waiting to be done on the case.
On behalf of all the members of KANERE team, I take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year 2014 with more peace and freedom.
We love to hear your feedback,
Qaabata Boru – Kanere Editorial Executive