Immigration Principal secretary (PS) Gordon Kihalangwa has urged the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to list unregistred refugees.
Speaking during this year’s World Refugee Day celebrations in Nairobi yesterday, he revealed that there are between 50,000 and 80,000 unregistered refugees in the country and appealed to the United Nations agency to ensure they are documented.
“Even as the country offers refuge to those fleeing conflict in their countries, Kenya also has its own challenges and therefore, we urge UNHCR to ensure that they register between 50,000 and 80,000 refugees currently in the country who are not registered,” he said.
Interior Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Patrick ole Ntutu decried rising cases of insecurity and violence against Kenyans and among the refugees and warned refugees in Kakuma refugee camp to obey the law and resist violence.
“Let me take this opportunity to caution refugees to respect the laws of this country and to live peacefully among themselves and their host communities.
Recent cases of reported violent conflict between refugees in Kakuma should not be entertained least of all by people who have fled such violent acts,” he warned.
The CAS asserted that it is not going to be possible for Kenya to offer asylum to people who want to perpetuate criminal acts hence all refugees in the country should know that violence against other humans is criminal and should be avoided at all times.
He urged the refugees to assist the government protect them better saying refugees just like the citizens should partner with security agencies to secure their neighbourhood.
UNHCR representative to Kenya Raouf Mazou said there are 68.5 million refugees globally by the end of 2017 adding that there has been an influx of asylum seekers.
He added that most of the refugees in Kenya are from the neighboring Somalia and South Sudan and called for peaceful co-existence in the country’s voluntary repatriation exercise.
This year’s World RefugeeDay theme is “include all,empower all” with calls for inclusion and focus on ways to ensure a durable solution to the refugee crisis is realized.