Kakuma News Reflector – A Refugee Free Press

Quotes of The Month: May-June 2009

Posted in Quotes of the Month by KANERE on July 16, 2009

“Human ‘warehousing’ not only violates the rights of refugees, it also impinges on the national sovereignty of hosts and often threatens peace and security between hosts and source nations and their neighbors. Warehousing generally involves allocating vast chunks of territory to foreign administration, not only in the distribution of rations but in exercising several key aspects of sovereignty such as refugee status determinations and even basic law enforcement.”

Merrill Smith of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, speaking on International Politics and Humanitarian Action

“Some refugees are not allowed to travel since they don’t have ration cards or their ration cards got de-activated by the UNHCR after rejections on the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) procedures in Kakuma and hence left unrecognized, so none of the NGOs in camp can offer them any assistance that are required by the refugees or asylum seekers while many of them have been living in the camp.”

-KANERE journalist speaking on the right to movement and lack of protection after living in Kakuma Camp for six years facing RSD rejection

“I always wish to visit my people in Tanzania, but I heard the Kenyan laws do not allow and I wish to know what does the Kenyan law say about going abroad? I have ten years now staying in Kakuma Refugee Camp missing all my family and relatives.”

-Simon commenting on the right to movement outside Kakuma Camp without a UNHCR-issued permit

“Refugees want words to be replaced by actions when they speak about refugees as real people with real needs. Much emphasis is placed on the actual refugee situation as opposed to refugees’ real sufferings. However, the [humanitarian] agency staffs who speak on their behalf do not feel it exactly.”

-A refugee community leader, commenting on the World Refugee Day celebration at Napata Grounds in Kakuma Camp

“But it’s not always accessible. Sometimes we have electric power shortage and the cyber cafe itself is not enough. I felt dark for the period of no network service and alternatively, the only help is if NGOs could establish other network services in the camp.”

-Tamrat, a young Ethiopian man, commenting on the impact of not having reliable internet services in the camp

“They should at least give the youth simple jobs such as cleaning or any job that does not require much skills. Why should they recruit people from as far away as 500km they can get them here?”

-Eyinei Samuel, a Kenyan Kakuma resident and youth leader, commenting on local Turkana public demonstrations on what they termed as lack of rights