News / Africa

Kenya Detains Over 300 East African Refugees

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
Douglas Mpuga

Over 300 mainly Somali and Ethiopian refugees were reportedly detained earlier this week in Nairobi’s largely immigrant suburb of Eastleigh, and the arrests are continuing.

According to two non-governmental organizations – the International Rescue Committee and Kituo Cha Sheria(Center for Legal Empowerment) - the Kenyan police are raiding homes of refugees and making random arrests of individuals suspected of being in Kenya illegally.

“Last week, there was a grenade attack in the Nairobi suburb of Eastleigh [and] three policemen were killed in the incident,” said Kellie Leeson, the International Rescue Committee’s country director in Kenya.

Following the incident, she said, “police raided the area and a number of refugees were rounded up.”

Leeson said the refugees are now terrified and many have moved out of the area [Eastleigh] because they are scared of further raids.

“Many of the refugees who have been arrested have been held for more than 24 hours without being arraigned, so there is a lot of a concern about their rights, she said.

These refugees, she added, are [predominantly] Somali;  [but] some are Ethiopians and Eritreans.

Leeson said the refugees are an easy target because many of them do not know their rights.  On the other hand,  she said  “many refugees - [despite having] legal documentation-- are still being rounded up indiscriminately.”

She said in a report her organization issued earlier this year, “we found that there is a tremendous amount of discrimination and exploitation of refugees living in Nairobi.”

Leeson noted that the Kenyan government “took a big step forward “in supporting and protecting refugees with the Refugee Act of 2006 which outlines [their]  rights and measures to protect them.”   Unfortunately, she said,   there is lack of institutional capacity as well as absence of a national policy to execute it.

She emphasized the need to remember that refugees are forced out of their countries by violent conflict or persecution. “They [refugees] are not here by choice, and they should not suffer also here in Kenya as a result of this crackdown.”

The IRC has been providing humanitarian aid to refugees and the Kenyan communities that host them since 1992.

Kituo Cha Sheria (Center for Legal Empowerment) offers free legal aid services to urban refugees and asylum seekers in conjunction with the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and other partner groups.

You May Like

'Exceptionally Lucky' US Boy Survives Flight in Wheel Well

The boy was unconscious for most of the flight, and appeared to be unharmed after enduring the extremely cold temperatures and lack of oxygen More

US Anti-Corruption Law Snags Major Tech Company

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in December, 1977 More

Cameron Criticized for Calling UK 'Christian Country'

Letter from scientists, academics and writers says the prime minister is fostering division by repeatedly referring to England as a 'Christian country' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid