Garissa (Kenya) – The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), on Wednesday, donated 10 police vehicles to Kenya to help scale up security in the refugee camps in north eastern region.
UNHCR Kenya Representative Raouf Mazou said that the vehicles would be used by security officers to patrol in and around the Dadaab refugee camps.
“Our responsibility is to provide the necessary support to the host country to enhance security in and around the refugee camps.
“The vehicles will also be used to escort aid workers to and from the camps, and undertake other law enforcement functions,’’ Mazou said when he handed over the vehicles to North eastern regional coordinator Mohamed Saleh.
Speaking after receiving the vehicles, Saleh said the police would use the vehicles to enhance security but blamed refugees for the insecurity in the region.
He noted that for the past 10 months security in the north eastern region has stabilised.
He noted that close cooperation between security apparatus, citizens and the entire leadership had led to the improved security.
Saleh assured UNHCR that the vehicles would be used for the intended purpose “crime control and reduction of fear among the refugee community.
“This cannot be an open ended affair and we would like to see all the refugees go back to their country, 25 years is too long for both the host community and also for the refugees,’’he added.
Saleh, however, said Kenya would also continue receiving refugees from neighbouring Somalia because some parts of the country remain unstable.
He explained that transport forms a very important component in security and the vehicles would go a long way in enhancing security in the region.
He said the vehicles being handed over, was a symbol of team concept towards a realisation of a collective security and safety as nation, region and the world.
The authorities have also blamed the militants for being behind spates of kidnapping of expatriates working in the sprawling refugee camps in the incursion-prone northern region and tourists in the coastal archipelago towns of Mombasa and Lamu.
Analysts say refugee camps often do pose security challenges for host countries.
Armed groups throughout the world have used them for recruits, shelter, and food, and it is likely Al-Shabaab does the same. (Xinhua/NAN)