Illegal immigrants netted in swoop await deportation

Wednesday April 16 2014

Kenyan paramilitary officers (L) perform a search on a vehicle at the entrance to the Kasarani football stadium in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on April 8, 2014, where people of mainly Somali ethinicity rounded up during a police swoop in the city's Somali district of Eastleigh are being held.  Some 225 foreigners arrested in the ongoing security operation in Nairobi are to be deported as part of the crackdown on terrorism. AFP PHOTO/ TONY KARUMBA

Kenyan paramilitary officers (L) perform a search on a vehicle at the entrance to the Kasarani football stadium in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on April 8, 2014, where people of mainly Somali ethinicity rounded up during a police swoop in the city's Somali district of Eastleigh are being held. Some 225 foreigners arrested in the ongoing security operation in Nairobi are to be deported as part of the crackdown on terrorism. AFP PHOTO/ TONY KARUMBA 

By LUCAS BARASA
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By ANGIRA ZADOCK
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Some 225 foreigners arrested in the ongoing security operation in Nairobi are to be deported as part of the crackdown on terrorism.

Eight others seized in the coastal town of Mombasa were charged with illegal stay in Kenya.

Since the clampdown began on April 4, 1,136 suspects from different countries have been screened at the Safaricom Stadium in Kasarani, resulting in 313 prosecutions.

Administration Police spokesman Masoud Munyi said 186 of these had been released, while 82 others were deported to Somalia last week.

Mr Munyi and Ms Gateria Mboroki, the spokesperson for the National Police Service, said the security operation had been intensified countrywide.

However, they did not give the exact number of terror suspects who have been arrested.

“We can’t go into details. Some people have been taken to court. We are still investigating. We will let you know once we are through with the entire process,” Mr Munyi told a press conference at Jogoo House in Nairobi Wednesday.

He also said it had also not been verified whether materials impounded from a house in Eastleigh during the operation were to be used for bomb-making.

Most of those facing deportation (214) are from Somalia, while six are Ethiopians, two Ugandans, one Cameroonian and one South Sudanese.

Some 120 Somalia citizens are facing charges in court alongside 50 Ethiopians, two Rwandans, two Democratic Republic of Congo citizens, three Ugandans, four Tanzanians and one Cameroonian, Chadian, German, American, Sudanese and Burundian.

DADAAB AND KAKUMA

“We will give you the results as soon as they are ready,” he said.

Among those screened, 412 were found to be refugees and are to be returned to Dadaab and Kakuma camps.

“All registered refugees must be within the gazetted refugee camps. Those found to have left the camps will be returned,” Mr Munyi said.

He and Ms Mboroki denied claims that the operation targeted Muslims or Kenyan Somalis and that it was only carried out in selected areas. Besides Eastleigh and South C areas in Nairobi, the operation was conducted in Lang’ata, Kawangware and Kasarani. The two said screening at the Safaricom Stadium had been strengthened with those arrested being processed on a daily basis.

“The suspects processed at the centre are either released, taken to court, transferred to designated refugee camps or deported,” Mr Munyi said. “This operation does not intend to hold any person for longer than necessary”.

The officials defended the way the operation was carried out, saying it was humane and in accordance with the law and respect for human rights. They also denied claims of mistreatment of the suspects.

Meanwhile, President Kenyatta Wednesday maintained that the security crackdown was not targeted at any community.

He said the operation was meant to bolster internal security and called on all Kenyans to support it.

“This operation is only targeting crime and terrorism and all of us must be supportive. It is in the interest of all of us to have a secure country,” said the President during a meeting with at least 25 MPs from the Somali community. Muslim leaders have criticized the crackdown, terming it a scheme to punish the Somali business community.

The President was with his deputy William Ruto, Inspector General David Kimaiyo and Internal Security Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo.

The MPs, who were led by Parliament’s Majority leader Aden Duale, said the campaign against terrorism was necessary for the security of all Kenyans.