African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".


  • African Press International Daily Online News Channel

  • * * API on Facebook

  • Total Visitors

    • 5,361,549 HITS
  • Flag tracker

    web counter
  • RSS BBC News – Africa

  • RSS BBC News – Home

    • Violent crime 'continues to fall' April 23, 2014
      Violent crime is continuing a long-term fall in England and Wales, according to annual figures from NHS hospitals.
    • Three children found dead in London April 23, 2014
      A woman is arrested after three children are found dead at a house in south London.
    • Scholes returns to help coach Man Utd April 23, 2014
      Paul Scholes will assist long-time friend Ryan Giggs at Manchester United following the sacking of David Moyes.
    • US runs the show in Ukraine - Russia April 23, 2014
      Russia's foreign minister accuses the US of "running the show" in Ukraine, influencing Kiev's anti-terror operations in the east.
    • Cancer teen reaches £1m target April 23, 2014
      A teenage blogger with terminal cancer raises £1m for charity after posting his final message to followers.
    • Madeleine police probe 18 break-ins April 23, 2014
      UK police investigating Madeleine McCann's disappearance are looking at 18 potentially linked cases involving a lone intruder breaking into holiday villas in the Algarve, Portugal.
    • Blair warns West over radical Islam April 23, 2014
      Tony Blair warns Western leaders they must put aside their differences with Russia over Ukraine to focus on the threat of Islamic extremism.
    • Breast cancer drug price cut urged April 22, 2014
      Campaigners urge pharmaceutical giant Roche to lower the cost of a pioneering breast cancer drug as the NHS prepares to rejects its use on price grounds.
    • Referendum pleas on St George's Day April 23, 2014
      Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond and UK Prime Minister David Cameron use the English feast day of St George to make their Scottish independence referendum appeals.
    • Survivor's regret over ferry students April 23, 2014
      A survivor of the South Korean ferry that capsized last week says he saw students trapped inside the vessel's cafeteria as it capsized.
    • UK government hits borrowing target April 23, 2014
      The UK government borrowed £107.7bn in the financial year to April 2014, lower than the amount it borrowed the previous year.
    • Top Gear 'regrets' Burma remark April 23, 2014
      The executive producer of Top Gear expresses regret over a "light-hearted" remark on its Burma special that led to the BBC show being accused of racism.
    • Spotlight stays on Man Utd - papers April 23, 2014
      The focus is still on Manchester United after the sacking of David Moyes, while figures suggesting violent crime has fallen are picked up on by many of the papers.
    • Led Zeppelin unleash unheard work April 23, 2014
      Legendary rock group Led Zeppelin make public two previously unheard recordings.
    • Shakespeare 'a cultural icon' abroad April 23, 2014
      William Shakespeare is the UK's greatest cultural icon, according to the results of an international survey released to mark the 450th anniversary of his birth.
    • Ferguson to help pick new Man Utd boss April 23, 2014
      Sir Alex Ferguson is to play a key role in selecting David Moyes's replacement as Manchester United manager.
    • Barcelona transfer ban put on hold April 23, 2014
      Barcelona will be able to buy and sell players this summer after Fifa suspended its transfer ban on the club.
    • Savage on Man Utd: spend £200m & sell 12 players April 22, 2014
      BBC Sport's Robbie Savage unveils his action plan to make the Red Devils a domestic and European force once again
    • Mourinho 'wants to rest players' April 22, 2014
      Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says he wants to rest key players for Sunday's Premier League trip to leaders Liverpool.
    • Seamer Junaid returns to Lancashire April 23, 2014
      Pakistan left-arm seamer Junaid Khan will return to Lancashire this season as an overseas limited-overs signing.
  • RSS Reuters: Politics

    • 'Bridgegate' scandal threatens next World Trade Center tower April 23, 2014
      NEW YORK (Reuters) - The "Bridgegate" scandal that rocked New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's administration earlier this year is threatening a deal that would allow developer Larry Silverstein to finish building the next World Trade Center skyscraper.
    • Obama reassures Japan, other allies on China as Asia trip begins April 23, 2014
      TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama has said Washington welcomes China's rise but that engagement with Beijing would not come at the expense of its Asian allies - as Chinese state media greeted his arrival in the region with a broadside accusing the United States of wanting to "cage" the emerging superpower.
    • U.S. steps up trade pressure on Japan ahead of Obama visit April 23, 2014
      TOKYO (Reuters) - The United States put last-minute pressure on Japan to compromise in tough trade talks on Wednesday, shortly before President Barack Obama was to arrive for a state visit.
    • California GOP hopeful wants free college for science, math students April 23, 2014
      BERKELEY, California (Reuters) - California Republican gubernatorial hopeful Neel Kashkari called for free college tuition for students pursuing math and science degrees, part of an education reform plan released Tuesday that would also model public schools after charter schools.
    • California congressman woos Sriracha pepper sauce factory after odor complaints heat up April 23, 2014
      LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A U.S. congressman from a Los Angeles community is seeking to lure the factory that makes the bestselling Sriracha-brand hot pepper sauce to his district after residents in its current location complained about the smell.
    • New Jersey governor's press aide subpoenaed in 'Bridgegate' probe April 23, 2014
      (Reuters) - A New Jersey legislative panel investigating the "Bridgegate" traffic scandal subpoenaed the press spokesman to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and three other officials on Tuesday.
    • Asia tensions simmer as Obama set to arrive in Tokyo April 22, 2014
      TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama arrives in a tense Asian region on Wednesday, faced with the delicate task of assuring Japan and other regional allies of America's commitment to their defense without hurting Washington's vital ties with a rising China.
    • U.S. top court upholds Michigan ban on college affirmative action April 22, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday further undermined the use of racial preferences in higher education by upholding a voter-approved Michigan law that banned the practice in decisions on which students to admit to state universities.
    • Colorado lawmakers move to tighten edible marijuana laws April 22, 2014
      DENVER (Reuters) - Colorado lawmakers are moving to tighten laws governing the sale of marijuana-infused edibles, an issue that has gained attention following two deaths possibly linked to the ingestion of cannabis products, the measures' main sponsor said on Tuesday.
    • Florida Senator holds Miami Beach hearing on rising sea level April 22, 2014
      MIAMI BEACH (Reuters) - Climate change is already impacting south Florida coastal communities, which could see a three-foot rise in sea level by the end of the century, a panel of officials and scientists testified at a Senate hearing on Miami Beach on Tuesday.
    • Georgia joins other U.S. states facing gay marriage lawsuits April 22, 2014
      ATLANTA (Reuters) - A federal lawsuit was filed in Atlanta on Tuesday, challenging the constitutionality of a Georgia law banning same sex marriage, the first such case in the southern U.S. state.
    • Missouri mayor quits after anti-Semitic remarks tied to Kansas killings April 22, 2014
      (Reuters) - The mayor of a southwestern Missouri town resigned on Tuesday in the wake of community anger over anti-Semitic comments he made in reference to recent killings at two Jewish community facilities in Kansas.
    • Senator Boozman undergoes heart surgery in Arkansas April 22, 2014
      (Reuters) - Senator John Boozman of Arkansas was recovering from heart surgery on Tuesday, his office said in a statement.
    • U.S. official responsible for reforming Medicare is leaving post April 22, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Tuesday announced the departure of the top health official responsible for reforming Medicare under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law.
    • Supreme Court hears challenge to ban on 'false' campaign speech April 22, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court justices across the ideological spectrum voiced doubts on Tuesday about a state law that prohibits false statements during a political campaign.
    • IRS's summons power faces test in Supreme Court April 22, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Internal Revenue Service will go before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to defend the way it enforces its power to issue legal summonses to obtain sensitive documents from taxpayers who refuse to cooperate with audits.
    • Detroit bankruptcy judge taps consultants for city's plan April 22, 2014
      (Reuters) - The federal judge overseeing Detroit's historic bankruptcy case tapped a top restructuring official at Phoenix Management Services on Tuesday to help the court determine if the city's plan to adjust its $18 billion of debt is feasible.
    • UAW suddenly retreats from fight at Tennessee VW plant April 21, 2014
      CHATTANOOGA, Tenn./DETROIT (Reuters) - The United Auto Workers, surprising even its supporters, on Monday abruptly withdrew its legal challenge to a union organizing vote that it lost at a Volkswagen AG plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee in February.
    • Court orders U.S. to release memo on drones, al-Awlaki killing April 21, 2014
      NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal appeals court ordered the U.S. Department of Justice to turn over key portions of a memorandum justifying the government's targeted killing of people linked to terrorism, including Americans.
    • U.S. court signals narrow bondholders win in Argentina subpoena case April 21, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday indicated that creditors should be able to seek limited information about Argentina's non-U.S. assets in a case about bank subpoenas in decade-long litigation over Argentina's obligations to bond investors.
  • RSS CNN.com – Africa

    • Luxury shoes made in Ghana April 15, 2014
      Fred Deegbe was standing outside a shop window five years ago, marveling at the shiny pair of wing-tip Oxfords he'd just bought, when he started wondering whether such beautiful designer shoes could ever be produced in his country, Ghana.
    • Meet Nigeria's 'Mark Zuckerberg' April 3, 2014
      At 23, many people around the world are still at university -- at that age, Gossy Ukanwoke had already started one.
    • Why we need more geek girls April 3, 2014
      "It was like taking a big leap of faith."
    • 'Uncle Ebo' revives Ghanaian theater April 15, 2014
      African Voices meets James Ebo Whyte a passionate storyteller with a series of successful plays to his credit.
    • How medics saved lives at Westgate April 9, 2014
      When gunmen stormed into Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall, Abbas Gullet was one of the first emergency responders on the scene. As head of Kenya's Red Cross, he was in charge of coordinating services for people in need.
    • Embracing Ghana's natural beauty April 1, 2014
      She started her business with just £100, lugging her beauty bag from door to door, but some 25 years later Grace Amey-Obeng has built a multi-million dollar cosmetics empire that's helping change the perception of beauty for many.
    • Africa's most endangered April 16, 2014
      Africa is home to much unique wildlife, but many of its iconic species are threatened. Find out more about its most endangered animals.
    • Secrets of 'gorilla whisperer' March 25, 2014
      Zain Verjee visits Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park -- the home of half of the world's endangered mountain gorilla population.
    • Savannah from the sky March 13, 2014
      It's almost impossible for a photographer to find fresh visual perspectives these days. Brooklyn-based Zack Seckler had to travel to a different continent and strap into an ultra-light aircraft to find one. His Botswana series presents the country from between 50 and 500 feet, providing a unique and captivating view of the savannah.
    • Is this the new Oprah? April 18, 2014
      Meet Mo Abudu: 'Africa's Oprah Winfrey.' The glamorous 49-year-old is conquering the continent one media empire at a time.
    • How to live healthy with gorillas April 22, 2014
      Veterinarian Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka on creating an environment where gorillas and the people who live near them, can coexist safely.
    • Ancient tribe living in the past April 18, 2014
      The Hadza are one of the oldest people on earth. Today, they battle for land, and continued survival.
    • Web dismantles stereotypes April 21, 2014
      The new Web series "An African City" is fun, trendy and over the top.
    • Why you should fear Boko Haram April 17, 2014
      Boko Haram's lethality is indisputable.
    • You gotta try South African BBQ April 17, 2014
      Grilled zebra anyone? Peri-peri warthog? This is how to barbecue, South Africa style.
    • Inside an Ebola isolation ward April 16, 2014
      Dr. Sanjay Gupta goes into an ebola clinic to find out what life is like for the patients inside.
    • Rating Pistorius's defense April 16, 2014
      After five days of intense cross-examination, has Olympian Oscar Pistorius helped or harmed his defense that he did not intentionally kill his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkam?
    • Pop art condoms saving lives April 15, 2014
      The Center for African Family Studies in Nairobi has teamed up with Kenyan artist Michael Soi to create eye-catching condom wrappers to promote safe sex and raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among young people.
    • Ebola: A swift and bloody killer April 16, 2014
      It took only moments to feel the impact of what was happening here.
    • 'I lost my fingers, made new ones' April 14, 2014
      A South African carpenter lost his fingers in an accident -- now he's making mechanical fingers and hands for others.
  • Country Stats

    free counters

Reprieve for urban refugees in Kenya, but fear persists

Posted by African Press International on January 25, 2013

Living in fear (file photo)

NAIROBI,  - Urban refugees in Kenya, threated with relocation to overcrowded refugee camps, are breathing a sigh of relief following a High Court ruling that has provisionally halted the move.

On 18 December 2012, Kenya’s Department of Refugee Affairs announced that all refugees should leave urban areas and move to refugee camps – the northeastern Dadaab complex for Somali refugees, and the northwestern Kakuma camp for all others. It further ordered an immediate stop to the registration of refugees in urban areas.

The directive was in response to a number of grenade attacks that have occurred in urban areas, follwoing Kenya’s invasion of Somalia in October 2011. The attacks have been widely blamed on the Somali militant group Al-Shabab, although the group has not claimed responsibility.

The government was due to begin the relocation of an estimated 100,000 urban refugees to camps on 21 January, but a ruling on 23 January by Justice David Majanja halted the government’s plan until 4 February, when a petition against the directive filed by Kituo Cha Sheria, a local legal rights group, is scheduled to be heard.

“I am satisfied that, in view of the international obligations Kenya has with respect to refugees, and the fact that under our Constitution refugees are vulnerable persons, the petitioner has an arguable case before the court, ” the ruling stated. “A conservatory order… is hereby issued prohibiting any State officer [or] public officer agent of the Government from implementing the decision evidenced by and/or contained in the Press Release dated 18th December 2012 pending further orders of this court.”

A welcome ruling

Defenders of refugee rights have welcomed the judge’s decision. “This is a very positive ruling by the court. We hope it will be widely spread and reduce the fear the refugee community has experienced since the December announcement,” Melanie Teff, a senior advocate with the NGO Refugees International (RI), told IRIN. “Of course, a lot of harm has already been done since the press release, and many urban refugees have already fled.”

Fatuma Diriye lived in Nairobi‘s Somali-dominated Eastleigh neighbourhood for over five years. There, she ran a small business and sent money and supplies to her children in Dadaab. She recently moved back to Dadaab after the directive and police harassment.

“The police attacked my business several times. I had to pay them some money to stay safe from the harassment,” she told IRIN, adding that she feels helpless now that she is totally dependent on aid for her family’s needs.

“Here is where our children call home… The government has put us in a condition of fear, and we can’t even move out of our houses. We are lacking freedom of movement. We don’t open our businesses”

For many refugees, the journey to from Nairobi to Dadaab is a treacherous one; Jelle Ibrahim, a father of six in Dadaab’s Hagadera camp, said he had to go through five different police check-points along the way.

“We were asked to bring identification cards – when I showed my travelling document, they put us in a separate place [for questioning],” he said. “We were harassed until the conductor of the bus intervened and paid some money to the police.”

Dadaab unprepared

Dadaab refugee complex, originally built to house 90,000 refugees, currently hosts an estimated 500,000 Somali nationals. An influx of refugees from Kenya’s towns and cities would have a serious impact on the ability of aid agencies and the government to provide services.

“Dadaab is overcrowded and under-resourced – its population has risen by about 150,000 in the last year, while funding has reduced by about half,” Mark Yarnell, Horn of Africa advocate for RI, told IRIN. “Insecurity remains a major issue in Dadaab, and some refugees are actually returning to Somalia for this reason.”

Officials in Dadaab say they have not yet seen a significant rise in refugee arrivals from urban areas, but fear they would struggle to cope if they did.

“The number of refugees arriving from Nairobi appears small. For the time being, it does not have any impact on service delivery or life in the camp. This can, of course, change if more refugees arrive,” said Mans Nyberg, senior external relations officer in Dadaab for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

“We encourage all new arrivals to reactivate their refugee cards so that they will get the benefits they are entitled to as refugees,” he added.

Refugees remaining in Eastleigh and other urban centres have expressed relief that the directive will not take place immediately, but said they continue to live in fear of police harassment.

Police harassment

“For now, we are happy from what we have heard and that the government is not implementing their directives soon… We can’t go back to camps because even refugees residing in the camps have their problems. Food, water, health and even space to settle is a problem due to the number of refugee in Dadaab,” said Ubah Hussein, who lives in Eastleigh. “We would like to go back to our country, but still there is no firm security and peace in most places.”

“Here is where our children call home… The government has put us in a condition of fear, and we can’t even move out of our houses. We are lacking freedom of movement. We don’t open our businesses,” said Abdi Mohamed, an elderly businessman in Eastleigh. “Some of my neighbours have left for Mogadishu, and others are on course if the government directives persist.”

Dadaab refugee complex is already overcrowded (file photo)

RI’s Yarnell said he had met with community leaders in Nairobi who had expressed fear of police harassment and feelings of helplessness.

“I have met community leaders from Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea – people who have been in Nairobi for years, who described feeling helpless and hopeless since the directive,” he said. “They regularly experience abuse – mainly extortion – by security forces who detain them and ask for bribes…since the directive, the bribes have gone up from about 500 shillings [US$5.70] to 40,000 [$458], 60,000 [$687] and even up to 100,000 [$1145].”

Eric Kirathe, Kenya’s police spokesman, told IRIN that extortion by police officers would not be tolerated and advised refugees to report any such incidents. “Cases of harassment and extortion are very unfortunate. There are channels for reporting – from the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission to police headquarters to the Independent Police Oversight Authority… Reporting to the media or talking about it in an ad hoc way won’t get results,” he said.

Rights groups say the harassment of refugees – and Somalis in particular – is not limited to security forces, but also exists within wider Kenyan society. Rufus Karanja, a programme officer with the Refugee Consortium of Kenya, said there was growing concern about the safety of refugees in the run-up to the country’s 4 March general election.

“In 2007, many refugees were victims of general xenophobia and insecurity, and many were displaced. We are trying to come up with contingency plans for them ahead of the coming election,” he told IRIN. “Much of the xenophobia is fuelled by the media, who keep linking the attacks to Somali refugees… There is a need for media sensitization on broad aspects of refugee protection.”

A number of civil society groups, under the umbrella of the Urban Refugee Protection Network, on 22 January called on the Kenyan government to end the abuse of refugees that had escalated following the 18 December directive.

“We will continue to pursue, through the courts, reports of extortion, arbitrary arrest and unlawful detention of refugees by security forces,” Karanja said.

kr/mh/mod/rz  source http://www.irinnews.org

 

 

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,231 other followers

%d bloggers like this: