Contributor's Opinion

Are The Kenyan Police Taking The Side of Their Kinsmen? The Case of Nubians and the Nuer in KRC

By Tut Kuany Kok,

Youth Nubians performing Nubian traditional dance during an event in Kenya(Photo credit: Daily Nations)
Youth Nubians performing Nubian traditional dance during an event in Kenya(Photo credit: Daily Nations)

December 11, 2019(Nyamilepedia) — The Nubian community of Kenya is composed of up to 100,000 descendants of people originally from the territory of the Sudan, who were brought to Kenya over 100 years ago to serve in the East African Rifles, a regiment of the British colonial armed forces. On demobilization, the colonial authorities refused to allow Nubians to return to Sudan, instead settling them in Kibera, near Nairobi, and other parts of Kenya, where they still live today. 

Despite having been in Kenya for ten decades they’re still being deemed as foreigners or second class citizens and this happens when one wanted to applied for Kenya National Identification Card (KNIC), it therefore takes a Nubian a very long time to obtain his or her Kenyan National ID when it takes other sons and daughters of the land a matter of one week or less than that to get the same ID card. For an ordinary Nubian to obtain the ID he/she has to take an oath before the elders and or Chief magistrate  which is an extreme humiliation to the core, however, the Nubian still do not lose hopes and their long-term relationship with the rest of Kenyans since they’re, in some cases, still being used during elections and other events that require their participation and numbers.

Therefore, the purpose of this article is to clarify the relationship between the Nubians and the Kenyan government, and because it is important,  I had to revisit the history in order to clear the dust and level the playing field. Back home in Nuba Mountain, the Nubians’ education is based on  the Kenyan academic curriculum or educational system which grants them the opportunity to sit for Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE). This move denotes beyond reasonable doubt that there is untouchable ties between the two communities though Kenyan use them cheaply whenever the need arise for their political gain and protection.

Back to the subject, yesterday evening at a football pitch in Kakuma Refugees Camp, one of the largest camps in the world, one of the Nubians broken a leg of a boy who hails from the Nuer and the relatives of that boy came to avenge the fate did to their son by stoning that Nubian and left him unconscious. When the Nubian boy was taken to the hospital, he then dies immediately which in turn irritated the Nubians in the camp to conduct a retaliation in collaboration with Kenyan police. Since last night they rampaged the Nuer community in an attempt to identify the suspects but the Nuer youth went into hiding. With the help of police they continued to search but frustrated, the police started to arrest any Nuer Youth they could find or identify to be a Nuer.

This created fear and panic simply because the police have taken the  side of Nubia, which intentionally they hope subside tension however as the arrest reached hundreds, the Nuer started to believe that the Kenyans have taken the side of Nubia with financial interest to make money out of those that they arrest.

 That insane campaign by the Kenyan police in Kakuma Refugees Camp against the Nuer refugees  coerced me to write on behalf of the victims of police brutality, maiming and detentions. In 2014 when ethnic clashes broke out between the Nuer and the Dinka after an under age girl who hail from the Nuer was raped by the Dinka and  the parent of the victim tried to take the case to police in order for the police to arrest the man who defiled the teenage girl, instead for the police to sufficiently intervene and look into the matter, he (police) then twisted the case against the Nuer, turning the accused into the victim and the victim into the accused, which eventually angered the Nuer and led into the killing of the Dinka in the process of retaliation and revenge.

Subsequently the Congolese also came in, a day after the fighting between the Nuer and the Dinka subsided, trying to demonstrate their superiority against the Nuer. On the first day of fighting they lost energetic young men and after realizing that they were empowered, they then had to involved the police which led to the  death of two Nuer boys of which one were killed by the police intentionally and the other one was killed by the Congelese. Hence, that fatal chronicles made many Nuer youth to trekked from Kakuma to South Sudan-Kenya border by foot for the fear of brutal torturing.

Again the police repeated the same brutality worse than the previous chronicleswhich  began from Tuesday to Wednesday and now needs the UNHCR’s interventions. In the recent update, Kenya police arrested more than 100 South Sudanese from the Nuer youth, disperses a number of them to disarray and more uncountable number  are in Kakuma Clinic Seven General Hospital while nursing serious injuries inflicted on them by the Nubians and police. Also a boy was dragged out of the house by Nubians and beaten leaving him helpless under the watch of police. Around 200 have been chased out of the camp and so far nobody knows their whereabouts.

In conclusion I’m calling upon the UNHCR to deeply look into what the Kenya police are  upto because the tasks given to them to protect the lives of refugees had come out to be something favoring one side instead of separating the fight. If the police is fair to all refugees they should have also arrested Nubians so that they might look neutral but now their stand is precisely clear.

I’m pleading with the Nuer Community in Kakuma to refrain from such a case since you will look as enemy to every refugee in the camp. The events of 2013-14 shouldn’t repeat itself even when  the Nubians or other refugees dare to step on your toes. Remember that your hand is heavy whenever you get exasperated and irritated to fight those who disrespect you. Learn to forgive and forget those who wrong you because you already know you have an upper hand in fighting. Instead try to build more strengths in areas where you are weak like politics, education and peaceful conflict resolutions, among other areas.

For more information about this article, you can reach the author at tutkuany7@gmail.com

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