Somalis lobby end to crackdown

January 25, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 25 – Somali businessmen and politicians in Nairobi are now involved in intense lobbying to persuade the government to stop security crackdowns targeting illegal aliens in the country.

The traders, mainly from Eastleigh and various parts of the city have been holding a series of meetings with top government officials to express displeasure at the manner in which the security operations are carried out.

Informed sources told Capital News that some of the businessmen and politicians from the war-torn neighbouring country were at Police headquarters on Monday where they held meetings with some senior police officers at the helm of the security operation.

Others have been seeking to meet senior government officials at the Internal Security Ministry within the Office of the President in vain, another source said.

“They (Somali businessmen and politicians) are bitter that their people are being targeted unfairly, that is why they want the police to stop the operation. They have been lobbying and making a lot of telephone calls since Monday last week,” an official at the Internal Security Ministry said.

They are opposed to the crackdown that kicked off last Sunday which targets illegal immigrants in the country.

According to the Government Spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua, at least 2000 aliens have been arrested. Some have been charged in court and fined while others are yet to appear in court.

The government plans to deport many of the illegal immigrants back to their countries of origin while those with refugee status will be sent to the refugee camps.

 The first batch of those to be deported is scheduled to leave the country on Wednesday, according to a senior police source involved in the travel arrangements.

Asked if the police were planning to call off the security operation on illegal immigrants any time soon, Police Spokesman Erick Kiraithe said “That is an ongoing exercise which will not be called off, we are implementing the law which is very clear on illegal immigrants.”

Mr Kiraithe said police will “not succumb to pressure from any quarters to call off the security operation.”


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