News / Africa

Rights of Kenya’s Refugees Need to be Upheld

Dadaab, Kenya mapDadaab, Kenya map
x
Dadaab, Kenya map
Dadaab, Kenya map

Multimedia

Audio
Kim Lewis
The U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, said it urges Kenya to continue to uphold the rights of refugees and asylum seekers who have fled the country in search of protection.  The agency expressed concern over recent security incidents in Kenya in which scores of Kenyans and refugees had been killed, and it notes recent public statements linking the presence of refugees to these security incidents. The agency said it also cautions against stigmatizing refugees and asylum-seekers.

To help improve the security situation of refugees, the UNHCR said it has been in discussions with the Kenyan government to move some of its activities, such as reception and registration, from Nairobi and other cities to the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps.

“What I would say is first of all the government and the people of Kenya have been extremely supportive of the plight of refugees.  Kenya is hosting more than 600,000 refugees in the two camps, Dadaab and Kakuma.  But, what happens in most cases is that killed refugees are the ones who had developed coping mechanisms - who would rather stay in urban areas.  But, the directive that was given by the government the other day is that they should go into the camp,” explained Emmanuel Nyabera, spokesperson for the UNHCR, in Nairobi. 

The UNHCR and Kenya’s government have had recent meetings to try and improve the security of the refugees.  “We have had two meetings already to take care of the interest of refugees and rights of refugees, and also take care of the concerns of the government,” added Nyabera.

One of the changes that can be expected is the moving of the reception and registration of asylum-seekers from Nairobi and other cities to the refugee camps in Dadaab and Kakuma. 

“If we have more people coming into the camps, then definitely we’ll have challenges in terms of shelter, in terms of sanitation, in terms of health facilities and all,” Nyabera points out. 

Consultations between the UNHCR and Kenya’s government will continue, and Nyabera said the UNHCR will continue to support the government in terms of vehicles and communication devices.

Regarding the concern and caution against stigmatization of refugees and asylum-seekers, Nyabera said it is important to note that not all refugees coming into the camps are coming in with security issues. 

“Most of them are coming in because they can’t stay in countries where they are coming from," he said.  "We are also discussing and submitting information to refugees so that we they are aware they have to obey the laws of the land of the asylum country.”

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid