By Zahra Rashid
Wednesday, December 19 2012
Nairobi, Kenya- The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has promised to continue offering services to the refugees in urban centers amid a government directive to stop the registration.
The UNHCR spokes man Mr. Emmanuel Nyabera stated that UNHCR will continue providing services such as registration of refugees in urban areas, provision of healthcare support to dispensaries that serve refugees in urban areas.
“The services provided by the UNHCR will not and have not been stopped but negotiations with the government are ongoing,” Lamented the UNHCR official.
Mr. Nyabera said that after a two days’ of meetings, the government proceeded to stop the registration of refugees in urban areas and directed that the process be done only in refugee camps.
“Considering the rights of the refugees in Kenya the decision reached by the government was rushed, we are still negotiating with them to take steps that will both ensure security but also protect the rights of refugees,” said Mr. Nyabera.
The UNHCR spokesman concluded, “The entry of Somalia refugees to Kenya has been made difficult after the invasion of the KDF and the tight security at the Kenya- Somalia border.”
Hiiraan Online learned that of the estimated 1.1 million total numbers of asylum seekers and refugees in Kenya’s urban areas, 735,800 are assisted by the UNHCR.
This comes days after the government of Kenya ordered the closing down of all urban registration centers and declared that all asylum seeker be registered only in refugee camps in a move to boost security in the country.
“The government of Kenya has decided to stop reception, registration and close down of all registrations centers in urban areas with immediate effect,” said the acting Commissioner for the Department Refugee Affairs Badu Katelo in a press statement early this week.