The aim of the GOK-UNHCR security partnership is to address national security concerns through management of cross-border flows of persons as well as maintain the civilian and humanitarian character of asylum and refugee camps in Kenya. The partnership will also reinforce the security environment of refugee camps and hosting areas.
The Government of Kenya is collaborating with UNHCR on the security of refugees both at refugee camps and outside the camps as well as protection of rights i.e. free movement to and from the camps in search of medical or other services. The GOK and UNHCR have entered into an MOU which will entail provision of 428 dedicated security officers along with vehicles and housing facilities. The new move will ensure receiving and registration of refugees is done through careful admission of asylum seekers from Somalia and elsewhere. Registration of refugees started on 1st March 2011. To date, some 12,065 refugees have been registered.
The government facilitates registration of asylum seekers to gain refugee status and screens asylum seekers to identify and isolate contestants, criminal elements and sick asylum seekers who may pose a security and safety risk to the country, in conjunction with UNHCR and Ministry of Immigration. The Government also assists in the repatriation of asylum seekers who do not qualify to be refugees and facilitates free passage of refugees destined for third countries.
The Government is facilitating mutual co-existence between refugees and the host community through joint forums (Meeting between the host co munity and refugee where issues of common interest are discussed).
The Government also encourages conflict resolutions involving host communities and refugees and facilitates sharing of scarce resources including putting in place measures aimed at environmental protection. It also ensures sustainable environmental management and construction of well planned housing units using locally available building materials. The internal security ministry is manning the border to ensure fighting does not spill over to the country as well as ensure quick identification of genuine asylum seekers.
The International Community should urgently assist and support the stabilisation of Somalia to enable its citizens live in their country as well as vigorously explore the possibility of relocating the refugees to a third country.
F. Kimemia, PS Internal Security
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