Kenya vows ruthless crackdown on illegal immigrants

At least 90 suspects have been arrested since Thursday when an improvised bomb went off on the roadside, killing one person before a grenade was hurled at a mosque on Friday night killing five people. File/Photo.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 8 – The government has vowed to undertake a major security operation targeting illegal Somali immigrants blamed for the rising cases of insecurity in the country.

Internal Security Permanent Secretary Mutea Iringo said most Somali refugees had fled designated camps and were now roaming in the country causing insecurity, particularly in Eastleigh and the border town of Garissa which have witnessed high cases of terror-related cases.

He said at least 90 suspects have been arrested since Thursday when an improvised bomb went off on the roadside, killing one person before a grenade was hurled at a mosque on Friday night killing five people.

Eight others, including Kamukunji Member of Parliament Yusuf Hassan sustained serious injuries from the attack that occurred outside Hidaya mosque.

“Some of the suspects arrested are refugees who have fled from refugee camps,” Iringo said, adding “we will conduct countrywide operations to ensure all refugees are taken back to Dadaab.”

He announced that 92 suspects had been arrested over the two attacks in Eastleigh.

“They will be charged in court on Monday,” the PS said without specifying the nature of charges lined up for the suspects.

Speaking after visiting the Kamukunji at the Aga Khan Hospital, Iringo told Capital Fm News that the government was in talks with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to have them sent back home since normalcy has returned in their country.

The Permanent Secretary who was accompanied by Nairobi Provincial Commissioner Njoroge Waweru also assured that the government has put in place adequate measures to guarantee security in the country during the festive season and the general election due in March next year.

However, he called on Kenyans to continue working closely with the police and report any suspicious cases to help in the fight against terrorism and other threats facing the country’s national security.

“The government is very keen, it is concerned and we would like all Kenyans to cooperate and volunteer information because police cannot be all over, if you observe any suspicious movements, please report so that we can be able to deal with it,” he urged.

Violence in Kenya — ranging from attacks blamed on Islamists to inter-communal clashes to a police crackdown on a coastal separatist movement — have raised concerns over security ahead of elections due in March 2013.

Five years ago, elections descended into deadly post-poll killings that shattered Kenya’s image as a beacon of regional stability.

Last month, riots broke out in Eastleigh district after the bombing of a bus, with running street battles between demonstrators and the police.

JUDIE KABERIA

JUDIE KABERIA

Judie, a Special Projects Reporter started practicing journalism in 2003. She has worked in Kenya and Germany. Judie has scooped awards in Reproductive Health, Population, Gender and Development. She has participated in international conferences in Germany, Switzerland and Netherlands. Judie has written a booklet, 'Justice and Peace in the Kenyan Eye'. She has a soft spot for human rights, crime, peace and justice stories and she is now pursuing a Master's Degree at the University of Leicester (U.K).

  • yuyu

    Typical kneejack reaction..They first start arresting women and child refugees, taken to police station and then ransomed. No attempts to get the real culprits who operate from Majengo and the environs of Easleigh. Ok..the police might not know the culprits? Can they really figure out what explosive was used? In the last bus incident the police “confirmed” no grenade was used! What happened to the the tree cuprits from Majengo arrested. What happened to the man nabbed by residents trying to bomb Joska supermaket a few weeks ago! What is going on???

  • mwas

    We need anybody habouring refugees also to face charges for such characters are the one putting the live of Kenyans on the line.