Kenyan ‘refugees’ in Dadaab to get IDs by August, says PS

Kenyans whose fingerprints were captured in the refugee database by UNHCR will regain their citizenship in August after final verification.

Immigration PS Gordon Kilahangwa on Saturday said the government was verifying the details and that the Kenyans will be issued with ID cards once the process is completed in August.

He said they had held several meetings with the United Nations High Commission for refugees, including one last week with country representative Fathia Abdalla.

“I want to give the assurance that this will be done. We are only doing final touches to it. Those who are affected should rest easy knowing that we are working on it,” Kilahangwa said.

“It is my hope that it will be done. It has been decades of suffering for hundreds of people. I will be very happy to see these individuals regain their citizenship,” Dadaab MP Mohamed Dahiye said.

The announcement was welcome news for Mohamed Ibrahim, one of the people expecting to get back their citizenship. He said he was ready to wait for the government to conclude the process and get his identity card.

“You can’t imagine how I have suffered. It has been hell on earth. Imagine being a refugee in your own country, where you can’t move simply because you lack the required documents,” Ibrahim said.

Farhia Abdi, a resident of Garissa, said he was looking forward to the process being fast-tracked so he can get his ID.

“I don’t think that should be an issue. It should not even be politicised because it is something the government can do without contradictions,” Abdi said.

Dahiye has been consistent in calling on the national government to remove Kenyans whose details were captured in the refugee database saying the mve had rendered them stateless.

It is not clear how many Kenyans have been affected because the government has not released the figures. But Dahiye said thousands were affected.

The lawmaker urged the government to hasten the process which he said had taken too long to be concluded.