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Refugees who camped outside Parliament taken to Nakuru at night

Wednesday November 02 2016
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Some of the IDPs who were removed from their camp outside Parliamnet and taken to Nakuru on Tuesday night. They had fled to Uganda during the 2007/2008 post-election violence. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By JOSEPH OPENDA
By SULEIMAN MBATIAH

More than 35 people who had taken refuge in Uganda after they were displaced following the 2007/2008 post-election violence and who have been camping outside parliament in Nairobi have been taken to Nakuru.

According to their chairman, Richard Kimungui, people claiming to be government officials sent to help them ambushed their camp in Nairobi on Tuesday night and managed to load 35 out 87 refugees into two shuttles saying they were taking them to a police station to verify their nationalities.

Mr Kimungui said they were told this would enable the government to sort out their problem.

But the vehicles, instead headed towards Nakuru.

He said the arrived in Nakuru at around 2.30am with the shuttles making a stopover at Falcon Hotel where they were asked to alight and relieve themselves.

Mr Kimungui said the shuttles then started leaving but they were told not to worry since the vehicles were going to refuel.

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VEHICLES VANISH

The vehicles did not return.

“All our belongings were left in the vehicles and we were left bare just the way you can see us,” said Mr Kimungui.

One elderly woman, Monica Nyambura, said she was still in great pain after being beaten by the people who whisked them into the vehicles in Nairobi.

According to her, other IDPs ran for their lives during the attack leaving behind their children who were forced into the vehicle.

“They forcibly handed the children to us without verifying whether they were ours or not. Now we have young children with us whose parents were left in Nairobi,” said Ms Nyambura.

The IDPs claimed the government had promised to compensate them after successfully convincing them to return home from Uganda.

They however claimed that no compensation has been done since then and efforts to reach the ministry of devolution have been futile.

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Kenya Red Cross officials feed the refugees who were removed from their camp outside Parliament in Nairobi and taken to Nakuru on the night of November 1, 2016. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

HUMANITARIAN CRISIS

They are now pleading with the government to help them as they are facing a humanitarian crisis.

They have been camping outside parliament since October 4.

"We were over 460 people [outside] parliament but some fled away after threats from government officials,” said Mr Kimungui.

He claimed that government officials bribed some of the IDPs with Sh1,500 for them to abandon the protests.

Narrating the Tuesday night incident, Mr Kimungui said a few minutes past midnight, armed people raided the camp and started beating them.

"The people were led by a Mr Macharia and a Mr Wafula both from the Devolution ministry. They are well known to me as they have been visiting us," said Mr Kimungui.

Mr Kimungui said they were driven in two busses belonging to Kima Sacco, registration numbers KCC 130Y and KCH 659N.

One point, the vehicles were stopped at a police roadblock along the Nakuru-Nairobi highway and the IDPS yelled saying that they had been hijacked.

However, the Devolution officials talked to the police officers manning the roadblock and the vehicles were let to proceed amid wailing from the occupants.

The IDPs are currently camping at the Kenya Red Cross offices in Nakuru.

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