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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya partly blames refugees for spate of insecurity

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s officials have blamed the current wave of insecurity is being partly fueled by the presence of refugees in the country.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku told journalists in Nairobi that the country has witnessed an upsurge of criminal activities emanating from refugees.

“We are therefore sending a clear signal to all those who continue to abuse our hospitality that the law will eventually catch up with them,” Ole Lenku said during a media briefing on the progress achieved by the government in the past one year.

This announcement comes at a time that Kenya has been rocked by a series of terrorist attacks including a church and small restaurants incidents in Mombasa and Nairobi where gunmen killed at least 12 people and injured about 50 others.

“We have rounded up suspects who are providing critical information to the government,” he said. Lenku said the designated refugee settlements will be continuously scrutinised.

Lenku said that the government will eradicate terrorist activities in the country through a joint effort by all security agencies.

He added that security patrols in major settlements within the country and along border points will receive a boost once 7000 officers set to graduate on Friday join the soldiers.

But he noted that the ability of police to respond to crime has been hampered by lack of mobility. “We have therefore rollout 1, 200 police patrol cars,” he said.

Kenya also plans to revamp the police air-wing unit. “One of our priorities for the 2014/2015 financial year is ensure that the police are fully equipped to combat crime,” Lenku said.

The government official also noted that the proposed County Policing Authorities will provide citizens with a platform to raise security concerns.

Last year, Kenya inaugurated a community policing initiative dubbed Nyumba Kumi. Lenku said that criminals have taken advantage of laxity in the Immigration department to acquire passport and other national identity documents.

“I can conform that a major clean up in department has taken place and will not allow people who don’t meet our criteria to own national identification cards,” he said.

Kenya is also fast tracking the development of a national database that will encompass e-passport, e-border, e-visa as well as the third generation identification cards.

“The aim to generate machine readable documents that will allow security agents to scrutinize the identity of all persons,” the secretary said.

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