Concern over aliens arrest in Kenya

January 22, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 22 – The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has announced that it plans to meet Internal Security Minister George Saitoti next Tuesday following public complaints over the on-going swoops targeting illegal immigrants in the country.

Chairman Mzalendo Kibunja said they had received complaints of harassment from Kenyans of Cushitic origin such as the Borana, Rendile and Gabra.

“We hope to have the Muslim community and the Internal Security minister sitting together in one room as early as next Tuesday,” he told Capital News.
He said that the recent activities of the security organs were a threat to national cohesion and integration which the commission is handling following the 2008 post election violence.

The NCIC chairman said; “We will not be able to achieve integration and cohesion in this country if that is the direction we want to go, so the first thing we will do as a commission is to reconcile and if there is no reconciliation then we will call for public hearings.”

The Commission which was established as one of the instruments to respond to the post-election crisis and create lasting peace, sustainable development and harmonious co-existence among Kenyans is calling on the security agencies to look for long-term measures to deal with immigration loopholes.

Mr Kibunja said most of the complaints were made by individuals who claimed they had been harassed despite having valid identification such as national ID cards and Passport.

“We recognise the challenge faced by our security forces in regard to protecting our borders from illegal entry. We urge the security forces to invest in long-term measures; stop fire fighting and deal with the issues of illegal acquisition of papers and illegal entry.”

“This way we should be able to protect the rights of genuine Kenyan citizens caught up in this swoop,” said Mr Kibunja.

The operations came days after Prof Saitoti revealed that some of the youths who participated in last week’’s violence in the City were members of Al-Shabaab militant group.

Two people were killed in the violence that also left 13 others with serious injuries. Police have arrested and charged in court some of the organisers of the protest.

Police on Wednesday arrested 134 more foreigners in Nairobi and Nakuru as the swoop on illegal immigrants continued, bringing to 800 the number of those so far held.

Those arrested were from different countries, but majority were from Somalia. All those arrested were arraigned in court and taken back to the Dadaab refugee camp.


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