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Archive for the tag “Dadaab”

Opinion: Threat of a closure of the Dadaab Refugee Camp – Is it a bargaining chip?

This is not the first time the Kenyan Government have claimed they want to close the Kakuma and Dadaab Refugee Camp. That has been done before, they did this in May and June 2016. Even the Federal Republic of Somalia was worried at one point, that the refugees would suddenly return after the notification of the closure back then. Suddenly late in August 2016, the U.S. Government suddenly dropped more money on the Refugee Camps. Than, it became silence and no problem hosting them. The same happen with the European Union in 2017 and certainly, the same government hopes in happens in 2019. However, don’t be surprised, if someone get hooked on the bait.

Because in August 2016, the US Administration stated this:

WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, August 23, 2016 – Today, Secretary of State John Kerry announced in Nairobi that the United States is providing more than $146 million in additional U.S. humanitarian assistance to support refugees, voluntary returnees, and drought victims in Kenya and Somalia. This new funding includes a significant new contribution of more than $59 million for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to protect and assist refugees in Kenya, and support voluntary refugee returns to Somalia. In addition, the funding includes new humanitarian assistance of more than $87 million in food and non-food support for refugees and drought victims in Kenya and Somalia. This announcement brings the total of U.S. humanitarian assistance in Kenya and Somalia to nearly $265 million in fiscal year 2016” (U.S. Department of State – ‘Additional Funding for Kenya and Somalia’ (23.08.2016)

The next year in 2017, in February the High Court of Kenya even blocked the Closure of the Refugee Camp. Even the European Parliament in May 2017 adopted a text on the Camp stating this:

whereas the EU has allocated EUR 286 million through the European Development Fund (EDF) for the period 2014-2020, focusing on the implementation of the ‘Compact’ and on state and peace building, food security, resilience and education in particular; whereas the EU Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF) for Africa was signed at the Valletta Summit on 12 November 2015 and was designed to address the root causes of destabilisation, forced displacement and irregular migration by promoting resilience, economic opportunities, equal opportunities, security and development; whereas the EU is responding to the lifesaving basic needs of refugees hosted in Kenyan refugee camps” (EU, 18.05.2017).

Why do I post these old statements on extra added funding for the Refugee Camps in Kenya. Well, the Kenyan Government is now known for having notified the UNHCR, that they would close the Dadaab Refugee Camp and not do it. Because, it is one solution and we all know why they do this. The refugee camps are bargain chips for more funding. This is what they do. It is not the first time and not the last.  

This is also the knowledge of the Kenyan Government, that is why they can force again the rich Western Countries, the well-wishing, not-to-friendly wealthy benefactors for own personal benefit. So, they can pay a higher price and drop more jewels on the Refugee Camp. Because, that solves the problem at home and also keeps it going as it has been.

That is why the Kenyan government in the hour of need, in their mercy for some foreign exchange can expose their greed. Notify of the closure of the Refugee Camp. To ensure, that the Western Partners, the ones who donates aid, actually gives them some more. To keep the 30 year old venture up and also pay-off the cronies in Nairobi. Which also needs part of the stake in the Aid Business. They don’t want to skimped out of the well deserved funds for hosting these people.

That is why the same government have tried this trick in 2016, 2017 and now returns to the old venture of skimming money out a refugee problem, again in 2019. We could lie and say, they are really need in more funds and in dire need for such, and such. But then, we would kid ourselves and also the general public.

There are always need for more programs, better food and more possibilities for the ones staying a place Dadaab, but that is not the reason why the Kenyan government did notify the UNHCR. They are hungry and want to eat. It is their turn to eat. That is why the smelled the empty plates and want their UNGA too. Peace.

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African Union Open-Ended Committee of Ministers of Foreign Affairs on the International Criminal Court Convened its 6th Meeting on the Sidelines of the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union (27.01.2018)

UNHCR refers Kenya staff to police after internal investigation finds fraud at Kakuma camp (31.05.2017)

UNHCR has separately launched an independent management review which has made a number of recommendations to accompany the disciplinary actions being taken against those found to have committed malfeasance.

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 31, 2017 – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is implementing a number of measures to strengthen management and oversight of its Kakuma operation in Kenya in light of an internal investigation that found fraud and other serious misconduct.

UNHCR’s investigation was prompted after allegations were received of fraud, corruption, threats and intimidation at the camp.

The investigation confirmed the involvement of five staff, against whom a range of actions have now been taken. These include, in three cases, referral by the UN’s Office of Legal Affairs to the Kenyan police for criminal prosecution – so far resulting in one arrest. Two of the five have resigned, and disciplinary processes are under way against the remaining three.

UNHCR has separately launched an independent management review which has made a number of recommendations to accompany the disciplinary actions being taken against those found to have committed malfeasance.

As further measures to address the situation, and in parallel with the investigation, we immediately suspended normal resettlement submissions from Kakuma and reviewed processes, although no further irregularities have been found. An information campaign is under way, and we are pursuing matters with our partners, including working with them to carry out their own investigations and to deepen anti-fraud awareness and prevention measures.

“Protecting lives is at the core of UNHCR’s work, which makes the betrayal of trust we have seen in this case so galling,” said UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees George Okoth-Obbo. “The management review has provided us an understanding of what happened and allows us now to enhance a number of preventive, assurance, response and corrective measures in management, oversight and operational delivery.”

Somalia: Dadaab Youth Statement on the Murder of the Slain Minister, Abas Siraji (05.05.2017)

Kenya: Operational Update: KDF Engages and Successfully Destroys Al Shabaab Terrrorists’ Camp (10.04.2017)

Kenya: Operational Update – Destruction of Al Shabaab Bases in Baadhadhe District (27.03.2017)

IGAD: Nairobi Declaration on Durable Solutions for Somali Refugees and Reintegration of Returnees in Somalia (25.03.2017)

 

Kenya: Potential U.S. Military sale to Kenya in support of the fight against terrorism (18.02.2017)

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U.S. House Representatives wants to block the January Arms trade sold to the Kenyan Government!

tedd-budd-quote

“The arms trade – an intricate web of networks between the formal and shadow worlds, between government, commerce and criminality – often makes us poorer, not richer, less not more safe, and governed not in our own interests but for the benefit of a small, self-serving elite, seemingly above the law, protected by the secrecy of national security and accountable to no one.”

Andrew Feinstein

As of today there two United States Representatives from the Republican Party Ted Budd of North Carolina and Duncan Duane Hunter from California that for their own reasons to stop sales of U.S. arms to Kenya, this they have forwarded a joint resolution. This was first from Ted Budd, but Duncan Hunter became his co-sponsor of the bill. Of today it has been transmitted to the Committee at the House Foreign Affairs that will work on it, before initial voting.

“That the issuance of a letter of offer with respect to any of the following proposed sales to the Government of Kenya (described in the certification Transmittal No. 16–79, sent to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate pursuant to section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2776(b)(1))) on January 19, 2017, is hereby prohibited:

(1) Twelve Air Tractor AT–802L.

(2) Two AT–504 trainer aircraft.

(3) Weapons package, technical support and program management” (Budd & Hunter, 2017).

It is not long ago since this was sanctioned to the Kenya Defense Force and their missions, as this was a supplement to the on-going missions that the Kenya contingent in Somalia and might even be used as blue-helmets inside South Sudan. Still, the U.S. Representatives think these will be misguided and not well used arms for their ally in East Africa. This is the double-standard and double moral from the U.S. counterparts that easily has dropped and sold this sort of weapons to others, but has to all of sudden sanction Kenya for buying the same thing.

Just take a look at the timing of the deal between the U.S. and Kenyan earlier in 2017:

“The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the possible sale on 19 January and disclosed the potential sale on 23 January” (…) “The DSCA said Kenya had requested the sale of up to twelve Air Tractor AT-802L and two AT-504 trainer aircraft, weapons, technical support and programme management worth $418 million” (…) “This proposed sale contributes to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a strong regional partner who is a regional security leader undertaking critical operations against al-Shabaab and troop contributor to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM),” the DSCA said” (…) “The proposed sale provides a needed capability in the ongoing efforts to counter al-Shabaab. The platform maximizes the Kenyan Defense Force’s Close Air Support (CAS) ability because it is a short-field aircraft capable of using precision munitions and cost effective logistics and maintenance.” (DefenceWeb, 2017).

So a purchase accepted in January is now in question in February, as the new Trump Administration will not care for the allies and friends as such before. The DSCA sanctioned the sale on the 23rd January 2017 and now on the 14th February 2017 the U.S. Representatives questions the sale. So the AMISOM mission and their allies who fights in it doesn’t matter as much, as that was the destination for the arms and technical weaponry in this transaction. That the sales of close worth over $400m that suddenly goes into the wind!

We will see if the Foreign Affairs Committee at the House of Representatives will work with this and see if this will go for voting in the House or Senate to sufficiently go forward with joint communique of Ted Budd and Duncan Hunter. That then will become legislation as the deal will not happen as the Committee will put forward a motion or legislation that the stops the arms agreement and trade between the DSCA and the Government of Kenya. Therefore the U.S. Arms trade to the Kenyan Defense Force.

This story is certainly not over. Peace.

Reference:

DefenceWeb – ‘US approves possible Air Tractor, weapons sale to Kenya’ (24.01.2017) link: http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=46563:us-approves-possible-air-tractor-weapons-sale-to-kenya&catid=35:Aerospace&Itemid=107

Representative Ted Budd (R-North Carolina) & Representative Duncan Duane Hunter (R-California) – ‘H.J.Res. 72: Relating to the disapproval of the proposed foreign military sale to the Government of Kenya of Air Tractor aircraft with weapons, and related support’ (14.02.2017)

Kenya: GoK Statement on the court rule concerning Dadaab Refugee Camp (09.02.2017)

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