News 2008


Repatriation of IDPs criticised

February 16, 2008


By Morton Saulo and Brian Adero

THE Government has come under fire over its repatriation of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their rural homes.

Kenya Human Rights Commission Director, Ms Nduta Kwaheria Friday said the displaced should not be forced to go back to their ancestral homes.

She said the repatriations contradict Government’s assertions that Kenyans are free to live anywhere.

"The camps must not be closed without respecting the humanitarian laws and the State has the duty to safe guard and respect the interest of IDPs, " Nduta said.

She said some displaced persons are not ready to move to their rural homes because they are very poor.

"You cannot repatriate one who has been impoverished by the violence. This will only aggravate poverty," she said.

Nduta was speaking at a joint press conference with Community Based Organisations (CBO) working in the IDP camps.

The CBOs accused the Government of neglecting its duties to provide assistance to the victims.

The group urged the international community to compel the Government to take care of the displaced persons.

Nduta said the issue of IDPs has been swept under the carpet for too long and should dealt with once and for all.

Meanwhile, manufacturer, Vestergaard Frandsen, has entered into a partnership with World Vision-Kenya to distribute 1,000 mosquito nets worth Sh500, 000 to displaced people.

Under the deal, Vestergaard will supply treated mosquito nets while World Vision-Kenya will distribute the nets to various camps.

The initiative targets children aged under five who are highly vulnerable to malaria.

Speaking during a handover of the nets at the World Vision-Kenya offices in Karen, National Director for World Vision-Kenya, Mr Girma Bergashaw said the fight against malaria is still on.