Security Distiller: KENYA AND THE SECURITIZATION OF REFUGEES

I. THE CURRENT SITUATION: INFLUX OF REFUGEES, VIOLENCE, AND TERRORISM

The circumstances of refugees in Kenya are defined by the protracted crises in neighboring countries. The ongoing Somali Civil War, conflict in South Sudan, the Rwandan Genocide, the Congo Wars, and violence in eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo have caused hundreds of thousands of people to flee to Kenya.[1] As of May 2019, the refugee population in Kenya is estimated at 476,695 people, the majority of whom are housed in Dadaab Refugee Complex close to the border with Somalia, and Kakuma Refugee Settlement close to South Sudan.[2]

Violence in and around the camps is a significant threat to the refugees themselves and the local populations in proximity.[3] Tension and aggression exist between the refugees and local populations adjacent to the camps.[4] Near Kakuma, the indigenous Turkana people live in tension with the refugees, especially as the camp expands into Turkana grazing areas.[5] Furthermore, violence is common among refugee identity populations. Violent or traditional justice is also common within refugee communities, as consequences according to indigenous justice systems.[6]

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