Somali refugees should return home, says Kagwe
Nyeri County senator Mutahi Kagwe (Narc) speaks to Nyeri residents
outside Nyeri primary school county tallying centre after he was
declared the winner on March 6, 2013. Kagwe said the Somali President
had already signalled that his country was stable enough for its
citizens to return and wondered why Somalis were still in refugee camps
in Kenya.Photo/ FILE
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Somali refugees camping in Kenya should return home, a senator has said.
Nyeri Senator Mutahi Kagwe (Narc) said the Somali
President had already signalled that his country was stable enough for
its citizens to return and wondered why Somalis were still in refugee
camps in Kenya.
Speaking in the Senate, he said it would be more
sensible to have the Dadaab refugee camp, possibly the world’s largest,
shifted to Somali territory so Kenya could help the refugees while in
their own country.
“The Somali President has already said the country
is stable enough for its citizens to return, and if they continue
staying in refugee camps in Kenya they might actually deny their
president the manpower he needs to rebuild the country,” he said.
Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen (URP)
said the ratio of police to citizens should be increased, saying
policing should not be a preserve of a few, mainly politicians, who
enjoy armed police protection.
He also said the country’s porous borders should
be policed more and urged the government to deal with the refugee crisis
which he said was the main cause of insecurity in northern part of the
Samburu Senator Sammy Leshore (URP), himself a
victim of insecurity, said the people of his county and the entire
country deserved to know what happened to him and other legislators who
are victims of violent attack.
Mr Leshore said he had been confined to a
wheelchair after he was shot by suspected criminals and asked the
government to deal with Somali aliens and other criminals behind small
arms trafficking in the country.
The senators were contributing to debate on the
presidential speech, in which the issue of the Somali refugees came up,
with some senators saying it was time the refugees were repatriated
since the Kenya Defence Forces had helped their country to stabilise.
The refugee crisis was compounded by fighting
between KDF soldiers and al-Shabaab miliamen, forcing thousands to flee
to camps in Kenya.
However, it is believed that criminals allied to
the Al-Qaeda linked Somali-based militia may have infiltrated the
country disguised as refugees, and were now carrying out revenge
In his inauguration speech, President Uhuru
Kenyatta said the government was committed to improving security on the
country’s frontiers and promised to progressively improve the
police-to-citizens ratio by bringing it closer to the UN ratio of 1:450.
“Last year, we deployed our Defence Forces to
Somalia...the sanctity of life; disrespect for human rights and contempt
for the law. In doing so we demonstrated to our citizens and to the
world that we will deal decisively with any external threat to our
Yet threats to internal security still remain. We
will deal with those internal threats with the same single-minded
resolve; the same commitment to protecting our citizens,” the president