Somali refugees in Kenya: an easy prey for the police

By: B. B. Abdi- Nairobi (Keydmedia) - This article will shed a light how the Somali people become victims of their failed state for over two decades and how the neighboring countries, particularly Kenya took advantage of their failure.
Article Keydmedia Online
Somali refugees in Kenya: an easy prey for the police

How Kenya benefited the failure of its neighboring country (Somalia)

Somali’s neighboring country Kenya become a safe haven for the Somali refugees escaping from the brutal war that have engulfed the lives of many Somalis in the past and left in ruins what was once known greater Somalia.

An estimated 300,000 ethnic Somali refugees are living overcrowded camps in Northern part of Kenya.

A part from those living the refugees camps; the remaining Somalis live in Nairobi (the Capital city of Kenya) as urban refugees, some of them established their own business, particularly the Somali inhabited area of Easthleigh, known as “Little Mogadishu.” with its lower prices People not only come from different parts of Kenya, but also from all over East Africa including Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Southern Sudan and as far as Democratic Republic of Congo.

With their God given ENTERPRENEUNAL TALENTS, for the past years Somalis have hugely invested Kenyan real estate sector which have led to the boom in era of financial crises but instead of celebrating the success story, the Kenyan media portrayed on their front-pages that huge amounts of the ransom paid to the Somali pirates have leaked into and distorted the property market, while ignoring the fact that Kenya itself is the one which has benefited mainly the failure of its neighboring country (Somalia).

Take one example, Kenyan Government collects billions of KES as tax from the businesses owned by the Somalis, Millions of KES as consumer spending.

Despite their struggle, the Kenyan government ignored the significant role the Somalis play contributing the overall economy of the country. For example, the Kenyan municipality has totally forgotten the provision of public services to the Somali inhibited part of the city, that’s why it takes you hours to reach Easthleigh before you wade through stinking mountains of rubbish and overflowing drains.

Infect Kenya have received in the past huge amounts of US Dollar from pirates directly or indirectly, in one incident the Kenyan jail authorities have been paid by UNDP for innovation of debilitated Kenyan jails to keep locked for just a view Somali pirates waiting a trail. Not only these, Kenyan Middlemen also make hundreds of thousands of dollars brokering deals to free ships that have been held for ransom.

On the other side, Kenya have hugely benefited the presence of hundreds of aid-agencies with expenditure of around 50% of the money pledged for the Somali people being spent the comforts of Nairobi hotels.

Terrorism policy and the Kenyan police

The Kenyan police nightmare starts from border in which they demand thousands of KES from every Asylum seeker, mainly children and women only to give them access to other side of the border and those who don’t pay the sum amount of money suffer the most. Seizing the opportunity, the border security officers rape women asylum seekers and unlawfully arrest them in inhuman and degrading situations in border police stations. The lucky groups are being released after bribing them and the rest are either deported back to Somalia or after UNHCR intervention they are transferred to the Refugees camps.

Although Kenya Refugee act states that "no person claiming to be a refugee, by reason of illegal entry be declared a prohibited immigrant, in any way detained," but the question is, does Kenya respect this act?

Despite the fact that 40% of Al-shabaab hails from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, Ironically, it is the Somalis who are singled out and charged with whatever Al-shabaab involves. Instead of full investigation, the Authorities of these countries, particularly Kenya is too quick to the throw the blame to the Somali people, and immediately police moves fast and rounds up hundreds of Innocent Somalis including women and children.

These include many Kenyan Somalis, refugees with valid foreign registration documents and elderly people who come to Kenya for medical purposes.

The worst comes in Christmas Eve, while the Faithfull Christians are preparing for the New Year celebration; Kenyan police plays the Game of “hide and seek” with the Somalis in Nairobi and other parts of the country. as soon as the New year approaches thousands of Kenyan police are poured in and around the Somali neighborhoods in Nairobi looking for illegal immigrants and ask them Thousands of KES for their release.

Kenyan police have given nicknames to the Somali people living in Nairobi and other parts of the country, like “ATM”, “Ready Cash” and “Goats”

Kenyan police with its reputation of Corruption are repeatedly harassing the innocent Somali refugees who become simply and easy prey for their cannibalism behavior; a recent report of human right watch portrays horrific and shocking stories, while the Kenyan Authorities itself denies such accusations.

Kenya has a right to concern its national security, however, this does not justify for any mistreatment or violation of refugee rights, despite the fact that Kenya is signatory of 1951 refugee convention, yet the Somali refugees in Kenya are being harassed, raped, tortured and forcefully repatriated at end.


The solution to this problem is that the Kenyan government has to introduce the ARC (Alien Registration Card), this is an easy process and the objective will be to register foreigners entering to the country without proper documents and issue identity cards. In addition, it will help not only the immigrants but also the country’s security apparatus to easily monitor any security threat from any individual or a group.

By: B. B. Abdi -

Article 21 May 2021 10:14

I read your article on Foreign Policy with keen eyes and interest. While whining from public officials does not deserve response from any sensible citizen of the Republic of Somalia, I felt compelled to counter false narrative with more objective analysis.