&  GHARRI WATCH GROUP (GWG) Members Sept. 26, 2005



KENYA:  Abuses of Gharri Refugees in EL Wak is in violation of international law: -

The Gharri support Group-North America & GHARRI WATCH GROUP (GWG) are seriously concerned about the well being of the Gharri refugees from Boru Hache that seeking a temporary refuge in EL Wak, Kenya.

We have received reliable information that the Kenyan local officials, in collaboration with NGO, had engaged in forced round up of these refugees, arbitrary detentions, and confinement of their elders in the police stations and has committed physical and mental abuses. Many elders have fled to neighboring country to escape this inhumane treatment. The following refugee elders were held against their wills, subjected to all kinds of inhuman treatments and were forced to sign false peace accord under duress.

  1. Hussein Diqa
  2. Mohamed  Haj Umur
  3. Edin Kofarow
  4. Adow Isaaq and
  5. Allas Abdulahi

Why only these five refugee elders out of fifteen were forced to sign papers?

Ten more refugees were arrested on Sunday night at Bore 11. But, they have not been charged with any crime.

Also, we have received credible information that the Mandera DC and EL Wak DO have received partial payment of 6 million shillings that were promised by the Somali Warlord Barre Hirrale.

It is clear that the Kenyan government has abandoned its commitment toward protecting refuges as well as the detained person’s right for fair trial and due process. So far, the detained refugees have not been brought to justice. Because there is no known laws that they violated since they took refuge in Kenya.  Rather, they were detained and abused and mentally terrorized because, the local authorities were paid to humiliate them by their enemies. We believe that the northeastern province of Kenyan administrators as well as its local officials, have failed to fulfill its responsibilities and moral obligation to protect and safe guard refugees that were flied from war ravaged or torn Somali territory.

On Sept. 23, 2005, 4 refugees were arrested simply because they declined to go back to occupied town of Boru Hache in the hands of armed Somali bandits. Thousands of women and children have been given 24 hours to voluntarily give themselves in or face force repatriation or return to Warlord Barre Hirrale’s force in Boru Hache. Despite the failure of peaceful settlement and the warring parties are still preparing for all out war. 

So, Gharri Support Group Of North America is fear that they may be subjected to serious human rights abuses in prisons. The decision of the Kenyan local officials to forcefully return women and their children who are seeking refuge in Kenya from execution and or physical harms in to the Somali warlords hands, before they assess the security situations is clear violation of the 1951 Geneva Convention and 1967 protocols. It is gross violation and a clear breach of Kenya’s obligations under international law not to return individuals to countries where they may be at risk of serious human rights violations, including torture or other ill treatment.

Furthermore, thirty other refugees were arrested under similar situation earlier in July, but their fates are not known. They were told that they are going to be taken to UNHCR run Cakuma refugee camps, but they never made it. According to reliable source, they were damped somewhere near the Uganda Kenya border, therefore, their fates are unknown at this time.

Gharri Support Group of North America has documented a pattern of serious human rights violations against the Gharri citizens in North Eastern Kenya, Also known as the Gharri District as emotional abuses, and arbitrary detention became daily events because the corrupt local District Officer and District commissioner are paid thousands of shillings as form of bail money. Arbitrary detention of the Gharri refugees has become just like any other business that generates revenue. Those who cannot afford to post bail money, has been dumped some where near Uganda Kenya borders. Therefore, we are very concerned for the safety of those refugees.

These refugees have told the Kenyan authorities their intentions to stay in Kenya, that their land was taken by force by the very first Somali warlord ‘s bandits that the Kenyan authorities trying turned them into. Now they wish to rather regroup and fight back in order to retake control of their homeland, due to the fact that peace negotiation has failed.

We have receive evidence that the reason being that the local NGOs have been promised contract to rebuild war torn city of Boru Hache if all its inhabitants returned home by Barre Hirrale, the Kismanyo based Somali warlord. Also, the Kenyan local authorities were promised millions of shillings if they succeed in forceful repatriation of the refugees, so,  they are engaging in criminal activities in detaining, terrorizing and arbitrary raiding of  refugees residences to intimidate so that they may give into pressure

Therefore, we ask the international community and United Nation High Commissioner to intervene.

Also, we ask the Kenyan government to order the suspension of those illegal practices.
The Kenyan Government officials and representative in Northern Province must bring to an end scare tactics and detention of Gharri refugees who are seeking refuge

We urged the Kenyan government, to abide by international human rights and refugee law and standards, and ensure that no gharri refugees or person is returned to a somali warlord’s bandits or places, where he or she would be at risk of serious human rights abuses including execution.  

Written by Gur Gharri and Approved by GSG/GWG

Much More Coming Soon