The Somali government has reiterated support for a massive Kenyan security operation to restore public security, but warned against profiling Somalis in the East African country.
NAIROBI – The Somali government has reiterated support for a massive Kenyan security operation to restore public security, but warned against profiling Somalis in the East African country.
"We are in support of the Kenya government's operation but if our people are harassed, we will complain," Somali ambassador to Kenya Mohamed Ali Nur told reporters in Nairobi on Friday.
"We don't want our people to be humiliated and we are ready to receive them in our country. We want them back to build our nation," he said.
Kenyan authorities recently launched a massive operation aimed at restoring public security following a spate of attacks in Nairobi and the coastal city of Mombasa.
The operation has seen thousands of people detained for screening, mostly believed to be Muslims from Eastleigh, a heavily populated Somali district of Nairobi, home to nearly 50,000 Somali urban refugees.
"The Somali government will cooperate with the Kenyan government in efforts aimed at reining in the rampant insecurity in Kenya," Nur said.
"However, the security forces must not engage in acts that will violate the human rights," he added.
On Wednesday, Kenyan authorities deported 82 Somalis to their war-torn country amid criticism that the refugees had been deported against their will.
But the Somali diplomat refuted the claims, saying that the 82 Somalis had agreed to voluntarily return to Somalia.
"We received a guarantee from the Kenya government that no refugee will be taken back to Somalia against their will," Nur said.
"I personally accompanied the 82 to Mogadishu and they told me they hailed from different parts of our country. They accepted that they had no documents allowing them to be here."
The Somali ambassador said that he has been allowed access to the centers, where the Somalis are being held.
He, however, declined to comment openly on the living conditions of his fellow nationals
The Kenyan government on Friday said that at least 4000 people have been arrested for illegal residence and possessing fake identification documents.
Nairobi blames refugees, especially from its eastern neighbor Somalia, for a recent spate of attacks in the East African country.
Kenya is home to more than 500,000 Somali refugees, who have fled their country, which fell into chaos following the 1991 ouster of President Siad Barre.
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