The Kenyan government deported 82 Somali nationals to Mogadishu in the ongoing security operation on illegal immigrants. The deportation, coming a day after 69 others were charged in court, was facilitated by the Embassy of Somali. The suspects were deported through a chartered flight that departed from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) Wednesday at 8.15am.
On Wednesday afternoon, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Lenku and Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo visited the Kasarani stadium and maintained the operation would continue until the government was convinced that there was adequate security.
Currently, 472 suspects are held in different police stations in the city pending further investigations. “We can confirm that 82 Somali citizens have been deported. They were even escorted by the Somali ambassador to Kenya,” said Mr Lenku.
Both Mr Lenku and Mr Kimaiyo denied allegations that the suspects in custody were being subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment at the stations.
They said that they would continue using the stadium, which had been gazetted as a police station, for screening even after some Muslim leaders led by leader of Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale protested, claiming that it was inhumane and was also targeting Somali Muslims.
Section 40 of the National Police Service Act empowers the Inspector General, through a notice in the Kenya Gazette, to designate certain places to be police stations.
Both officials had visited the facility in company of journalist who were allowed to witness the vetting process. For the first time, the UNHCR officials led by the Country Representative Raouf Mazou, the media and human right crusaders were allowed inside the heavily guarded stadium where screening exercise is being carried out.
“We use the stadium for screening suspects only and they do not spend the nights here. It has also been gazette as a police station. Those suspects found innocent are released immediately,” he said. At the stadium the suspects were put in separate cells for the children, male and female suspects, under close guard.
Regarding other allegations against the police involved in the exercise, the two maintained that the operation was being conducted professionally. “The operation will be done within the law and so far no reports of bribing or the rape allegations have been established. This is the country’s number one priority,” the cabinet secretary said.
The police boss Kimaiyo has also warned refugees who have sneaked out of the two designated camps. “We are working closely with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and anyone found to have sneaked from the camps would be dealt with firmly,” he warned.
( Courtesy Government of Kenya, Daily Nation & Agencies…….Source……Our Freelance Contributor in Nairobi, Kenya & New africa business News )