Kakuma News Reflector – A Refugee Free Press

Letter from the Editor August 2014

Posted in Letter from the Editor by KANERE on August 16, 2014

Dear KANERE readers,

I take this opportunity to welcome our readers through this double edition of KANERE. It’s with huge compliment as we send our heartfelt condolences to refugee communities in Kenya following the large scale security swoops that have targeted the refugee populations in the urban areas since April.

For several months, the weather in Kakuma remained warm and dry. The camp observed relatively fewer security problems as compared to a year earlier. However, some parts of the camp had experienced violent tribal conflicts among the South Sudanese communities that led to four people dead including a school going teenager.

In this issue, we are focusing more on the plight of the refugees in urban centers with in-depth stories illustrating facts about the recently launched ‘Usalama Watch’ or ‘Counter-terrorism’ operation.

The operation is an attempt to identify illegal aliens residing in the country and subsequently to eliminate the people from places the Kenyan government believes to be harboring terrorists. The operation had largely negative impacts on the foreigners and the refugees in the country, who have criticized and opposed the move.

The arrest and detention of refugees in the urban areas started on the 1st April as a part of a large scale security operation by the security machinery. It was followed by forced relocation to isolated refugee camps. Refugees interviewed by Kanere journalists, told of illegal arrests, extortion and detentions by police.

Hundreds of refugees, mainly of Somali origin, were deported without the due process of law. There are bitter stories of how families were split. Mothers were separated from their children and even by the end of July, there are several families who are not yet reunited.

During the month of April, many Non-governmental organizations providing humanitarian services, including the UN Refugee Agency – UNHCR, kept silent. They might have reasons for this or are they too afraid to exercise their mandate? Refugees in Kakuma are speculating on what will happen if the Kenyan government decides to close all the camps and force the refugees out of the country?

As a double edition, we have other stories on the inter-clan conflict between the Diauechuk and Ayuel, subgroups of South Sudan’s Dinka tribes, and an in-depth-story on the “Lost Boys” of Sudan – a generation that has lost for the second time.

Other stories cover the refugee interpreters who went on protest demanding a raise in the incentive payment as employees of UNHCR; while as a tradition, the World Refugee Day was commemorated by both the camp residents and the members of the host community at Kalemchuch field.

The colorful day was “celebrated” by the humanitarian aid agencies and had high profile guests. Among other notables in attendance were US Ambassador Robert Godec, UK Ambassador Christian Turner and three other Ambassadors to Kenya, Government officials including the county commissioner for Turkana West.

In this past week Kenya witnessed its 17th explosion since the Westgate attack. The country has suffered scores of grenades, gunfire assaults and continues to face threats of terror attacks from Somalia based Al-Shabaab militia. However, it’s not yet clear why the US is pulling the Peace Corps Volunteers out of Kenya secretly!

In this edition, Kanere is reminding the Government of Kenya and UNHCR, in line with protection of refugees and asylum seekers in the country, that international law forbids the refoulement (forced expulsion) of refugees.

We are looking forward to a day that the governments, the world leaders and those who are directly dealing with refugees would have a better understanding and a well established mechanism for dealing with issues surrounding the security of persons of concern in need of international protection.

We hope by reading through these stories everyone can be able to act to the best of their ability for the protection of refugees globally.

Get back to us with your feedback, get involved, send your positive contributions as well as criticism!

Enjoy reading!

Sincerely,

 Qaabata Boru

Editorial Executive – KANERE

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6 Responses

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  1. Big Mac said, on August 18, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Thanks dear Qaabata, I have published some of your articles in our website http://www.refugeespave.net Thanks for your good and hard work,

    Mac Lushimba

    “You are also an Oppressor if you notice lies and injustice and do nothing to fight them ” “Tu es aussi Oppresseur si tu vois mensonge et injustice et ne fais rien pour les combattre”=============================================================Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2014 13:58:25 +0000 To: maclushimba@hotmail.com

  2. Charles. C. Rudd said, on December 3, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Excellent. Are you safe and still publishing in Dec. 2014? As I see no recent news. I want to Volunteer to work with NGOs or ? In KAKUMA Camp. I have 8 years of East Africa experience / UN, NGOs and int’l Red Cross.
    Please advise. My email: ruddcharlescarmen@hotmail.com. I am an Artist, Humanitarian Refugee Relief Worker who led many Large Red Cross Food Convoys of 300 tons each to various Regugee Camps; Kenya to S. Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and within Kenya.
    Is there an NGO who will help facilitate my Volunteer Teaching of Art, History of Art and Culture, (to expand on Refugee knowledge of their great Cultures), Export Marketing of Refugee Products, etc. In previous times I did Art Director Duties with UNICEF and organized Artists in Khartoum to Design and Illustrate the Country of Sudan Health Program. These Illustrations included All People of Sudan; Dinka, Nuer, Arabs etc.
    Please contact my Email: ruddcharlescarmen@hotmail.com.
    In Peace, Equal Rights and Justice. Charles. CCR

  3. Charles. C. Rudd said, on December 3, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Will anyone who reads this and knows of the situation in KAKUMA Camp as of now, Dec. 2014, kindly email me as I pray and support their safety and dynamic progress. Is the Kanere Editor safe? My email is:
    ruddcharlescarmen@hotmail.com.

  4. Charles. C. Rudd said, on December 3, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Hello You Courageous Human Beings of KAKUMA Camp.
    Advise UNHCR that in spite of the difficulties in doing great work assisting Refugees, one Tremendous Improvement would be to allow Refugees to organize their Homes and Communities in Natural settings or village groupings, rather than these Military Units of square streets, with every shelter facing one way.
    This only creates more tension and potential for violence due to non communication. Let us All Think with Our Hearts as Well as Our Heads. With Peace, Equal Rights and Justice, Charles C. Rudd CCR.

  5. KANERE said, on December 4, 2014 at 6:17 am

    dear Charles,

    It was wonderful to hear from you and thanks for contacting KANERE on the situation of Kakuma. This is an old refugee camp, the population of the camp is growing day by day as refugee fled from persecution, war and violence. However, the camp residents only depend on the food rations which is currently cut by World Food Programe by half of the usual food basket threatening the livelihood.

    One worst case scenario is increased insecurity with the recent fighting, killings between tribes in the camp. For thousands of the camp residents, they feel they’re voluntary prisoners who are trapped at the end of nowhere; middle desert which is full of desert insects, heat and wasps! The camp residents have no right to the freedom of movement; therefore, for thousand innocent souls, they’ve never moved out of Kakuma since they move inn for the first time – thus growing up and growing old!

    You can write to Kanere’s editorial at kakuma.news@gmail.com

    Thanks for your posting!

    The editor

  6. Charles. C. Rudd said, on December 12, 2014 at 3:17 am

    Hello KAKUMA Camp,
    When KAKUMA started in the early 1990s, I was running Red Cross Food Convoys throughout East Africa, with most going to the Kenya-Somali Border Regions. That was the hottest area with much Rebel and Bandit activity especially around Dadab. Should you read this and can be of help I am researching work with the UN, NGOs, The International Red Cross etc. to assist with the Refugee Relief situation in Kenya. Contact my Email if you can be of help, to help me, help the Refugees. (ruddcharlescarmen@hotmail.com) I will reply with my Resume and list of Commendations from my considerable previous Refugee Relief Work. With Peace Equal Rights and Justice. Charles


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