UNHCR wants Kenyan government to separate refugees’ issues from politics

The United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) wants Kenyan government to take more responsibility for the refugees as the requirement of international and separate refugee issues from political rhetoric.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees urged Kenyan government to also allocate more finance for refugee programs in the country saying those in country are not moving out of the country soon due to security situation in Somalia.

According to the UN document, the Government seems to have been telling the public one thing over refugees’ stay in the country while practically doing the opposite in the background.

For example, when last year the former Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku was publicly chasing away refugees, on July 1 the same year, the local commissioners for refugees effected the Kenya Refugees Act 2006.


The Act spells out the right of refugees, making it impossible for the country to legally kick them out.

The UN also throws cold water on Kenya’s much hyped voluntary repatriation as a significant option to get the Somalis back home. Last year, the Government had targeted at voluntarily repatriating 80,000 Somali refugees but only 485 were willing to return.

The UN says that one of the reasons there are few volunteers is the limited financial assistance they are being offered. Each volunteer is given Sh9, 800 along with transportation to the border, shelter items and food support for three months.

This latest call by UNHCR comes as officials from Kenya, Somalia and UNHCR meet in Mogadishu to discuss the repatriation of the refugees.

Additional information by Standard Newspaper