Ruto: State to review status of Kenyan Somalis who registered as refugees

Deputy President William Ruto addressing Daadab residents. (Courtesy)

DADAAB—The government will review the status of Kenyan Somalis who registered as refugees.

Speaking at Daadab during breakfast meeting with area leaders and United Nations officials, Deputy President William Ruto said move was aimed at removing hurdles in the way of Kenyas who unknowingly made it to the United Nations data as refugees.

The matter was raised by the governor of Garissa Ali Korane who appealed to the national government, “To fast-track the reinstatement of citizenship for thousands of Kenyan youths who have been captured in the refugee data system of UNHCR after their families moved into the refugee camps when they lost their herds of livestock to drought.”

Thousands of youths in Northern Kenyan counties of Garissa, Wajir and Mandera remain stranded in their home counties because they can’t venture into other towns in the country for lack of identification cards.

Some have not been able to join universities and are not stranded nearly a decade after they completed high school.

The problem was raised in 2016 by then elected MPs from the region who appealed to the government to recognize Kenyans in the United Nations High Commission for Refugees database as “economic refugees” instead of political refugees.

Ruto now assures their plight would be presented to the state department of immigration and registration of persons.

“Those who sought economic refuge in the camps and had their data captured in the UNHCR data, we will review your status and remove your names from their database, ” Ruto said.

He also said the region will receive sh 100 billion development funds in the next four year.

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