Contributor's William Deng Bishok

The refugees rights and the gross violations and infringements by the Kenyan authorities.

By William Deng Bishok

Image of James Gatdet Dak, former spokesman of SPLM/A-IO Chairman, Samuel Dong Luak, human rights activist, and Aggrey Idri, SPLM-IO Chairman of SPLM-IO Humanitarian Affairs(Photo: file)
Image of James Gatdet Dak, former spokesman of SPLM/A-IO Chairman, Samuel Dong Luak, human rights activist, and Aggrey Idri, SPLM-IO Chairman of SPLM-IO Humanitarian Affairs(Photo: file)

Feb 16, 2017(Nyamilepedia) ——- At the emergence of the United Nations, in the aftermath of the second World war and up to today, great and enormous number of people have been displaced. While some remain internally displaced amidst insecurities, others became vulnerable asylum seekers. This tangible facts came as the results of conflicts, violent and wars be it domestic or international as do natural disasters of epic proportions .

Refugees are undoubtedly an issue of global concern from an estimated one million refugees since 1951 when the convention on the rights and status of the refugees, internally displaced persons and Asylum seekers was adopted by the UN to more than 25 millions today.

The number of the refugees have considerably increased to 25 millions and more within the remit of the United Nations High commissioner for refugees whether fleeing wars, famines , floods, persecutions, or earthquakes and they the refugees find themselves far removed from their homes reliant on the host states for support and protection .

The 1951 convention remains a key instrument for defining refugees, their protection and the rights which they are entitled to. It also aims at consolidating and expanding international law though it was convened to address the status of the refugees and their resettlement in Europe after second World war .

In light of the urgent need to confront the growing natural disasters, conflicts, violent and wars, the international community adopted the 1967 protocol to the convention which extended its mandates to all persons displaced around the globe.

There are some rights enshrined in the convention allocated to the refugees for example the right to have access to courts, the right to engage in wage earning employment, the right to education, housing and food on the equal footing with aliens or the population of the host state. The host state should facilitate the assimilation and naturalization of the refugees and finally the host state must guarantee the security ,safety and protection of the refugees. Henceforth, the readers may seek to know the most proclaimed definition of the word refugee .

A refugee is a person, who owing to well founded fear of being persecuted for reason of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular ethnic groups or political opinion is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or owing to such fear is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country or who not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as the result of such events is unable or owing to such fear is unwilling to return to it .

From the definition one is deeply shocked by the constant violations and infringements from the Kenyan authorities on the rights of the south Sudanese refugees in their country .

In November 2016, the Kenyan security agents arrested Mr. James Gatdet Dak, the press secretary in the office of the chairman of the sudan people liberation movement in opposition and the commandership of the sudan people liberation army in opposition, Dr Riek Machar Teny.

The security apparatus of Kenya humiliated him, abused him, mocked at him and beaten him to the extend that he became unconscious and afterwards they handed him to the south Sudanese fascist security agents who paid an amount of 10 million US dollars in bribery deal and finally they forcefully deported him to South Sudan where Gatdet is facing an imminent risk of being killed by the callous regime in Juba.

James Gatdet Dak fled south Sudan because he was being hunted by the authoritative regime and sought asylum in Kenya hoping that Kenya be a neutral ground owing to its independence. As a result Gatdet registered himself and his family under the UNHCR as refugees but in spite of the fact that he acquired a status of recognized refugee on Kenyan territory, the Kenya government took advance of his vulnerability and deported him back to his enemies where he is now being held as a prisoner in an horrendous condition in National security custody. No one visited him since or confirmed his health status.

This shows that authorities in Nairobi are not respecting their obligations to protect the refugees and international asylum seekers as required by the international law.

On the 23 -1-2017, two other South Sudanese went missing in mysterious circumstances in Kenya: Hon. Aggrey Idri Azbon, the chairman of the national committee for Humanitarian affairs SPLM / A IO and Justice Dong Samuel Luak Kok, the south Sudanese prominent Human rights activist were kidnapped by men believe to be Kenyan authorities. On 27-1-2017 they were supposed to appear before the Milimani High court but to our surprise they were not brought before the court by the security agents.

The court close second hearing was then scheduled for Tuesday the 31st of Jan 2017. The court in Milimani ordered that the Kenyan criminal investigation department must inquire thoroughly into the alleged offences committed by the two suspects. The immigration department was ordered not to deport the culprits, unless with due legal process.

On 31-1-2017, the court second hearing convened but the two leaders were not brought before the court, despite the fact that the lawyers from UNHCR and Amnesty international presented Habeas corpus injunction to the residing Judge at Milimani court .

The question arises where are these two suspects imprisoned detened by the Kenyan authorities?

Here my personal concerns and that of the other South Sudanese are that these two vulnerable refugees might have been already indirectly smuggled into south Sudan in leu for financial exchange as they the Kenyan authorities did with James Gatdet Dak , if occurred that the two suspects were deported to Juba they would be at the possible serious risks of arbitrary detention, tortures and an inevitable possible death .

This scenario is not new from the Kenyan governments in 70s the father of the incumbent President Jumma Kenyatta forcefully deported Mathew Obur , Hon. Guor , John Jock Reath , Wal Kuon Keat and David Dogok Puoch .

In accordance to the refugees law 1951 a refugee status rescinded or invalidated in a specified conducive atmosphere.

For instant, if an individual has voluntarily re-availed himself of the protection of his country of ,nationality , if he acquired a new nationality and enjoys protection by virtues of this or has voluntarily re-established himself in the country he fled .Only one terrible condition for a refugee to be forcefully deported to another country where he is safe , secure and being well protected , is when the asylum seekers is directly involved in a domestic politics which may have negative impact on the national security of the host country.

After we contemplated on how 1951 granted an absolute rights to the refugees and the grounds on which such status could be rescinded let me shed light on how the continent and the region treated the issue of the refugees.

Our continent the Africa is not an exceptional to the rest of the suffering humanity , given the huge number of the refugees caused by instability and lack of adequate provisions of the service to the common men and women, it is inevitable that there should be regional instrument to combat on the issue ,OAU adopted the convention governing the specific aspects of the refugees problem in Africa in 1969 .

It was designed as the regional complement to the United Nations Convention. The OAU convention acknowledges that the United Nations convention is the basic and universal instrument relating to the refugees and directs all the states to accede thereto, noting that there must be close collaboration between the OAU and the office of the High Commissioner for refugees which was established in 1950.

Thus, the OAU appraised the status of the refugees which includes all persons who owing to external aggression, that was during the colonization period in Africa, occupations, foreign domination or events seriously disturbing public orders in either part or whole of their countries of their nationalities and are compelled to leave their places of habitual residence in order to seek refuge in another place outside their countries of origin or nationalities.

Therefore, this an imperative generous description brings many more African states, organizations, and distinctive regions together within the ambit of the OAU instrument.

In conclusion, one is constantly shocked by how himanity is diminishing and tragedly heading towards its final dark days .My moral and sincere quest goes to international organisations like UNHCR, Human rights Watch ,Amnesty international, UN to ensure that comrades Dong Samuel Luak Kok, Aggrey Idri Azbon and James Gatdet Dak are immediately released and that all refugees are respected in Kenya .

I also call on regional organisations for example Kenya Human rights commission, IGAD , AU and other NGOS to join efforts with the other international organisations to positively ensure the release of those leaders to their families.

The author is the Human rights activist and currently a legal advisor to the first infantry division of SPLA in opposition, Kuek headquarter and can be reached at williamdengbishok@yahoo.com or Skype william.deng41

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