Somalis journalists in Kenya persecuted by security forces, refugee policy, CPJ says

Somalis journalists in Kenya persecuted by security forces, refugee policy, CPJ says

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is shocked by the unfair and discriminatory treatment meted out to Somali refugee journalists by Kenya security services and the country’s Department of Refugee Affairs, which have ordered all Somali refugees living in Kenya’s urban centres to report to the Dadaab refugee camp.

The Dadaab refugee camp already holds more than 450 000 people, according to UN figures. Tom Rhodes, a CPJ East Africa consultant, reports that a police statement said the Somali refugees, particularly those living in urban centres, are contributing to insecurity in the country.

Acting commissioner for refugee affairs Badu Katelo has ordered aid agencies including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) must stop providing aid to those outside the camps. The order followed a series of grenade attacks in Kenya’s northeastern regions, such as Garissa, and in Eastleigh, the predominantly ethnic Somali district of Nairobi, where many exiled journalists live. The attacks are suspected of being carried out by the Islamic militant sect Al-Shabaab, although the group has not claimed responsibility, news reports say.

The violence has prompted Kenyan security forces to target hundreds of refugees residing in Eastleigh on suspicion of links to Al-Shabaab, a cruel irony for local exiled journalists, given that most of them fled to safety in Kenya precisely because of threats to their safety from Al-Shabaab back home. Many exiled Somali journalists in Eastleigh and elsewhere can attest to the heavy hand of Kenyan security forces.

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*PIC: MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES. A refugee shelter is flooded in the Dabaab refugee camp in Kenya

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