Kakuma News Reflector – A Refugee Free Press

To: The Editor of Kakuma News Reflector

Posted in Arts, Contributors, Letter from the Editor, News Updates, Opinion by KANERE on March 23, 2020

I have been a reader of KANERE for a long while. Many refugees like myself feel that KANERE is the only independent media that gives voice to refugees in both the Kakuma camp and the Kalobeyei settlement.

I would like to raise some concerns about the different ways that refugees all over the camp have been suffering, sometimes due to oppressive humanitarian policies. We hope future publications will cover these issues:

The first issue is about the rations on which we survive in Kakuma. You are denied a ration card if you have missed two food distributions. If you miss, your ration card is permanently deactivated and you are told to register anew. Imagine, someone has stayed ten years and then misses just three months, and they are required to start everything as if they are a newcomer.

The ration system becomes a way to police people, as if we are locked up in the camp. I know a family of five who were in Nairobi for medical reasons. When they came back to Kakuma, they discovered that their ration card had been deactivated. After staying months without a ration, the card was finally activated but recognizing only two people in the household. What kind of humanitarian treatment is this? I have attached a photo of a family begging to the agencies to open up their ration card. I hope you will find a space to publish that photo.

The second issue is about mental health. A lot of people who have been suffering due to mental illness, and the numbers of suicides are rising. It is good to create awareness about suicide prevention, but doing this only occasionally cannot help us. Refugees need counseling, and I hope KANERE will raise this issue in future editions to sound the alarm for organizations and donors.

The third issue concerns documentation. The Refugee Affaires Secretariat (RAS) is understaffed. They need to add additional employees and budget so that they can more adequately serve refugees. It takes so long for us to retrieve vital documents and permissions. The latest figures that I have seen show that around 23,000 asylum seekers are waiting for decisions on their status. They lack interpreters, and this is a big challenge especially for those who do not speak Kiswahili.

Finally, the issue of Coronavirus: Refugees both in Kakuma and Kalobeyei are panicking due to news of the pandemic. I do not think the agencies will save us if the virus reaches here. Please let the world know that we have nothing to rely on. May Allah protect all of us.

I hope you will publish the above message.

Yours faithfully
Essa Suliyman – Kakuma Refugee Camp

SNHU Global Education Movement (GEM) and Jesuit Worldwide Learning (JWL) Introduce New Programme for Kakuma Residents at Student-Employer Networking Event

Posted in Contributors, Education, Humanitarian Services, Kakuma Town and Kenya, News Updates by KANERE on December 31, 2018

By Ebssa Tolossa – KANERE reporter

Students from Kakuma’s newest higher education programme had an opportunity to chat with area professionals, business leaders, and agency representatives. (more…)

New approach to refugee camps

Posted in Contributors, Human Rights, Opinion by KANERE on February 13, 2016

By Kathleen Agena – thelindusinstitute@earthlink.net

This tragic scenario can be avoided if a more realistic approach to the refugee crisis is adopted. (more…)

A Term “Refugee”

Posted in Arts, Contributors, Education by KANERE on February 13, 2016

By Addisu Aznato – Kakuma

One day I asked my students in Intermediate English Language class if they had known the English word “beauty”, but they said they hadn’t. (more…)

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Rights Violation Under Warehousing – By Brett Shadle

Posted in Contributors, Human Rights, News Updates, Opinion by KANERE on January 8, 2014

Do refugees have the right to know about the impacts of decision making on their futures, lives as they live in limbo? (more…)

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…)

Law, Refugees, and Asylum Seekers in Kenya

Posted in Contributors, Human Rights, Kakuma Town and Kenya by KANERE on February 11, 2011

The International Rescue Committee and Kituo Cha Sheria raise concern about indiscriminate arrests and harassment in Kenya’s crackdown on refugees – Press Release forwarded by KANERE.


Unwritten: Understanding the Emptiness of Refugee Adolescent Education

Posted in Contributors, Education by KANERE on December 22, 2009

Guest Contribution by Cayce Pack, New York City, USA.  

Six years of work in refugee resettlement and several semesters of human rights studies seemed as void as the blank pages in their books. The sun was violent in its afternoon heat and a crowd of adolescent faces perplexed in questions surrounded me…


International Politics and Humanitarian Action

Posted in Contributors by KANERE on July 16, 2009

By Merrill Smith

To what extent do international politics impact UNHCR’s humanitarian action? Merrill Smith comments on the political interests that shape international refugee protection, from warehousing to “voluntary repatriation” to resettlement, and advocates a balancing of political and humanitarian concerns through integrative protection approaches.

Merrill Smith is the Director of Government Relations and International Advocacy for the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants and the Editor of the World Refugee Survey.

Essay on Refugee Human Rights in Camps

Posted in Contributors by KANERE on May 12, 2009

Volume 1, Issue 4-5 / March-April 2009

By Zachary Lomo

Does UNHCR have an obligation to uphold the human rights that are essential for refugees’ free and full development as human beings? Are there any circumstances where a refugee could take UNHCR to court for failing in this regard?

Zachary A. Lomo, LLB (Makerere), LLM (Harvard), directed the Refugee Law Project of the Faculty of Law, Makerere University from July 2001 to August 2006. He co-authored RLP Working Paper Series, Behind the Violence, on the causes of the war in northern Uganda, Negotiating Peace, and Whose Justice? He is currently reading for his doctorate in International Law and Refugees at the University of Cambridge.


Who Believes in the Rights of Immigrants? Do Refugees in Kenya Have the Right to a Free Press?

Posted in Contributors by KANERE on February 28, 2009

Volume 1, Issue 3 / February 2009

By Ekuru Aukot

Dr. Ekuru Aukot of Kituo Cha Sheria writes on the right of refugees to exercise a free press in Kakuma Refugee Camp, and their obligation to uphold the ethics of professional journalism


Speaking for Refugees or Refugees Speaking for Themselves

Posted in Contributors by KANERE on January 31, 2009

The Voice of Refugees Newspaper in Osire Refugee Camp, Namibia

The Voice of Refugees Newspaper in Osire Refugee Camp, Namibia

Volume 1, Issue 2 / January 2009

Dr. Barbara Harrell-Bond

Dr. Harrell-Bond is a leading advocate for refugee rights. She founded the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University and the Forced Migration and Refugee Studies Program at the American University in Cairo. She has written many articles and books on refugee situations, including Rights in Exile: Janus-Faced Humanitarianism with G. Verdirame. KANERE invited Dr. Harrell-Bond to contribute an editorial on a refugee free press. (more…)