Home / General / A Reasonable Response

A Reasonable Response

Comments
/
/
/
629 Views

image_preview

It’s hard to see how this goes bad:

Kenya has given the United Nations three months to remove a camp housing more than half a million Somali refugees, as part of a get-tough response to the killing of 148 people by Somali gunmen at a Kenyan university.

Kenya has in the past accused Islamist militants of hiding out in Dadaab camp which it now wants the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR to move across the border to inside Somalia.

“We have asked the UNHCR to relocate the refugees in three months, failure to which we shall relocate them ourselves,” Deputy President William Ruto said in a statement on Saturday.

“The way America changed after 9/11 is the way Kenya will change after Garissa,” he said, referring to the university that was attacked on April 2.

Emmanuel Nyabera, spokesman for the UNHCR in Kenya, said they were yet to receive formal communication from the government on the relocation of Dadaab and could not comment.

The complex of camps hosts more than 600,000 Somali refugees, according to Ruto, in a remote, dry corner in northeast Kenya, about an hour’s drive from Garissa town.

A national security state based around making the terrible lives of over a half-million people significantly worse will surely protect Kenyans. There’s no doubt that the response of the U.S. government after 9/11 that included the invasion of two nations, one of which had nothing to do with the attacks, both endeared the United States to the world, preserved the freedom of Americans inside the nation, and protected its citizens abroad. Clearly, what Kenya needs is to call in Paul Wolfowitz for consultation.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • ThrottleJockey

    If terrorists are residing in the refugee camps, Kenya has to do something to root them out. Unlike Bush its not as if Kenya is proposing to invade a 3rd country like Egypt in order to combat Al Shabaab. Kenya and Nigeria are besieged by Muslim terrorists who rack up body counts, rapes and kidnappings like a real world version of Grand Theft Auto. They’ve got to do something.

    • efgoldman

      They’ve got to do something.

      The question is (and I haven’t a clue to the answer): Are they capable of such a thing, without hurting a lot of innocent refugees in the process? All those people got out of Somalia for a reason.

      • DocAmazing

        It’s a bit like setting up resettlement camps for people of Japanese descent following the attack on Pearl Harbor. While there were undoubtedly spies and saboteurs among the immigrant and refugee populations, they represent a very small minority, and far more innocents than combatants are hurt in the process.

        • ThrottleJockey

          “They represent a small minority.”

          That’s a supposition, isn’t it? If the Somali population here with its relatively great situation has generated its own Shabaab and Al Qaeda sympathizers, how many more must be generated over there? I’m not sure that Westerners sitting in our comfy armchairs are in the best position to judge Kenya.

        • efgoldman

          It’s a bit like setting up resettlement camps for people of Japanese descent following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

          No, it really isn’t. The Japanese-Americans didn’t purposely flee their homes to avoid being exterminated.

          • matt w

            I thought that Doc was saying that expelling the refugees would be like interning the Japanese-Americans.

            • DocAmazing

              Sí, eso es. Sorry to be unclear.

      • ThrottleJockey

        The article says that the Kenyan army has created safe zones in Somalia. If that’s the case both parties are better off re-settling back home. The refugees–600K of them!–deserve a real city with real governance. Kenya, meanwhile, has been hosting this camp since 1991; its fair to say they’ve done their duty. The worst thing possible is for this to turn into a permanent situation as in Israel’s case.

        • Derelict

          Getting on for 25 years? That’s “permanent” as far as the numbers of Somalis who were born in this camp, grew up there, and are now raising their own families there.

          Somalia is an utterly unsolvable problem. It doesn’t really exist as a country because there’s no central government. It’s a territory with few resources, lots of warlords, and no viable way of imposing order short of massive invasion and rigorous military occupation–and even that will likely produce the exact opposite of the intended results.

          Kenya’s part of this problem is the refugees and the terrorists mixed in with them–and the separatist groups along the coast who aid and abet the Somali terrorists figuring to let the Somalis destabilize the central government at no cost to the separatists.

          • J. Otto Pohl

            It is amazing that since Siad Baare’s overthrow that nobody has been able to unify Somalia into a single functioning state. Somalia is one of the few ethnically homogenous countries in Africa and yet remains one of the most fragmented politically.

        • joe from Lowell

          The worst thing possible is for this to turn into a permanent situation as in Israel’s case.

          You lack imagination. I can think of a lot of worse things than that.

          Uprooting a 25-year-old community full of poor people in 3 months sounds like it has all kinds of potential downside.

      • Tony Hurst

        The Kenyan government is building a wall to keep illegals out:

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/02/kenya-wall-israel-separation-barrier

        But the Kenyan in the White House keeps blocking on from being built here why the double standard?

        • DrDick

          What Kenyan in the White House?

          • I searched the public directory and there was no Kenneth Yan.

    • Ronan

      It’s the old division between doing something effective and doing something stupid though. Forcefully relocating 600k people is clearly doing something stupid with very little chance of even resolving the issue they claim they want to (it should probably be seen as closer in intent to collective punishment than actually trying to fight the insurgency)

      • Ronan

        by the way, TJ, I watched hot tub time machine the other day after your recommendation on another thread, and have to admit it’s pretty good.

        • ThrottleJockey

          Glad you enjoyed it, Ronan. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw it… In most cases I’d agree with you that its mean spirited and ineffective. It reminds me of various re-location schemes such as of Native Americans here in the US, or of native Africans by whites in S. Africa. That being said, I’m more inclined to go with the Kenyans on this specific instance than to second guess them.

          Hope you had a nice weekend.

          • Pseudonym

            “I was pleasantly surprised when I saw it… In most cases I’d agree with you that its mean spirited and ineffective.” Well that confused me for a moment there.

      • J. Otto Pohl

        A lot depends on how they are relocated. Refugees have been repatriated in the past without the use of excessive violence. I think the Kenyan government has wanted the refugees to return home for some time and is using the recent attack as an excuse to highlight the issue. There are plenty of ethnic Somalis with Kenyan citizenship as well. But, nobody is suggesting their civil rights be curtailed because Al Shabaab militants could hide among them. So it is not really comparable to the internment of the Nissei in the US as some people here have suggested.

    • J. Otto Pohl

      It is true that Al Shabaab is a real problem in Kenya. But, the fact that Kenya shares a long border with Somalia, there is a large ethnic Somali population in Kenya, and many Somalis not just Islamists have long had irredentist views of parts of Kenya make the problem more complex than just the refugees. The Kenyan police have also had a lot of problems in recent years with brutality unrelated to Al Shabaab or any other form of terrorism. So the parts of the population feel squeezed between terrorists on the one hand and rogue cops on the other. The camp residents should be repatriated, but it won’t stop terrorism in Kenya.

  • so-in-so

    Actually I do not think ANY evidence has been found that any immigrant Japanese were spies or saboteurs. the lack of evidence at the time was perversely cited as evidence that they couldn’t be trusted, but I don’t think there has been any evidence since, either. A lot was an “opportunity” by local white politicians to aquire the land and businesses of Americans of Japanese descent.

    • Derelict

      Actually, there was at least one Japanese spy in Hawaii who came forward after the war and admitted he’d provided up-to-the-minute intelligence on fleet movements and anchorage dispositions.

      One, of course, does not equal many.

      • Latverian Diplomat

        And Hawaii was excluded from the internment policy anyway, so it didn’t matter in this case.

        • heckblazer

          Interning 40% of the territory’s population wasn’t a really a practical option.

      • Jackov

        Yoshikawa was an intelligence officer posted as a diplomat to Hawaii with the Japanese Consul-General. He was not American born nor an immigrant, but a professional spy in the service of imperial Japan.

        During World War II, no Japanese American in the U.S., Hawaii or Alaska, citizen or immigrant, was ever convicted of espionage or sabotage.

        • heckblazer

          There was the Niihau Incident. As Wikipedia summarizes:

          The Niʻihau Incident (or Battle of Niʻihau) occurred on December 7, 1941, when Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service pilot Shigenori Nishikaichi (西開地 重徳) crash-landed his Zero on the Hawaiian island of Niʻihau after participating in the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was killed in a struggle with people on the island.
          The island’s Native Hawaiian residents were initially unaware of the attack, but apprehended Nishikaichi when the gravity of the situation became apparent. Nishikaichi then sought and received the assistance of three locals of Japanese descent in overcoming his captors, finding weapons, and taking several hostages. Eventually, Nishikaichi was killed by Niihauans Benehakaka “Ben” Kanahele and Kealoha “Ella” Kanahele;[1] Ben Kanahele was wounded in the process, and one of Nishikaichi’s confederates, Yoshio Harada, committed suicide.

          Still a damn thin reed.

  • so-in-so

    One might think that I’m the worst case, providing their own security perimeter around the existing camps would be more effective than relocating them. After all, one of the standard security responses IS to concentrate the people in guarded camps. See the Birtish in both the Boer War and Malyasia as well as the U.S. “interment” camps.

  • Bruce Vail

    “The camp was first established in 1991 when civil war broke out in neighboring Somalia, and over subsequent years has received waves of refugees fleeing conflict and drought.”

    It doesn’t seem unreasonable at all for Kenya to want the camp closed after 24 years.

    • Ronan

      There’s a difference between wanting the camp closed (which is reasonable)and trying to relocate 600k people in three months. Without speaking to the specifics of Kenya/Somalia, I agree that (in general) the strains on a poor country of hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees (economially, security wise) is substantial. But again, relocating these people by force over months in response to an attack would (1) probably be a humanitarian catastrophe (2) would probably make the situation worse.
      Whether this is the Kenyan government changing the terms of their relationship to the camp, and so part of a negotiation for a settlement to the problem with the UN and so shouldnt be read literally, is another question , I dont know. in that case it could be justifiable.

      • Ronan

        although most plausibly Id assume it’s political grandstanding.

        • Bruce Vail

          Yes, it sounds a lot like grandstanding to me. I get the impression that the college massacre has shocked the Kenyan nation, and political leaders are scrambling for a response that is going to make the voters feel better.

          That said, I still think the Kenyan government has every right to expect that the refugee complex be closed as soon as practical.

          • ThrottleJockey

            To Ronan’s point, my first thought when I read the “3 month” timeline was that that was Kenya’s opening salvo in the negotiations, not the last word. I doubt there’s a humane way to relocate 600K people in 3 months. 6-12 months sure. 3 is unlikely.

          • Tony Hurst

            Kenyans in Kenya love their country unlike Kenyans in the United States.

            • Ronan

              but a kenyan in the united states could still love their country (kenya) while not loving the united states?

              • Tony Hurst

                The Kenyan currently in charge is doing everything in his power to destroy us

                • PohranicniStraze

                  There’s a Kenyan in charge where you live? Weird.

                  Here in the US, where I live, the man in charge is my distant cousin, Barack Obama, who has been doing a pretty decent job keeping the country on track, unlike his immediate predecessor, who was a right dimwit.

                • Pseudonym

                  What has Uhuru Kenyatta ever done to you?

                • ColBatGuano

                  Derp

          • J. Otto Pohl

            This is my impression as well. Although, unfortunately the dismal state of Pan-Africanism means there is little interest and coverage of events in other parts of the continent here. I think the refugee camp has been a problem for the Kenyan government for a while and this is a good excuse to bring up the issue of closure.

    • LeeEsq

      Will the Kenyan government give the Somalis legal status? If not them than who will?

  • Tony Hurst

    The Kenyan president of Kenya is deporting all illegal immigrants, the Mexican government is going to great lengths keep them away while the Kenyan president of the United is States is allowing millions of illegal Mexican invaders to stay. This is sabotage. The fifth column is now in control.

    If Obama really thinks countries are obligated to treat illegal immigrants well he would denounce the government of Kenya for doing this. I’m not holding my breath.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      oh, please do hold your breath for a while. it would make all the difference in the world

    • Marc

      Needs more cowbell.

    • ThrottleJockey

      I take it this is the guy Aimai was complaining of yesterday.

      Please don’t delete this guy’s posts. It totally screws up the reply threads. As long as we don’t feed the troll everything will be fine.

      • Ronan

        “As long as we don’t feed the troll everything will be fine.”

        ah, that’s unlikely to happen

        edit: though we should at least try.

        • matt w

          If we don’t reply to him, then management can delete his posts without messing up the threads.

    • wjts

      Este imbécil ha descubierto nuestro programa secreto para destruir la cultura de los EU con un ejército personal de Mexicanos armado con armas de Fast and Furious y bajo el mando directo del Musulmán Keniano Supremo Barack Hussein Muhammad X Ortega. Necesitamos mejor op-sec, amigos.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        hva med benghazi?

        • wjts

          ¡Cállate! ¡Si JenBob apredería que el Musulmán Keniano Supremo Barack Hussein Muhammad X Ortega esta trayendo noruegos ilegales a los EU vía Benghazi, todo se perderá!

      • heckblazer

        Siempre he visto a “EE.UU.” como la abreviatura utilizada para Estados Unidos.

        • wjts

          Es una palabra código para engañar JenBob. Él pensará que estamos hablando de la Unión Europea.

  • Off on a tangent, I was following the attempts from the Kenyan franchise of Catholicism to gin up a manufactroversy about Vaccines = Sterilisation. The general goal seemed to be one of converting medicine into a branch of theology, and to use the role of Catholic hospitals within the Kenyan health system as leverage for gaining even more control over health policies and money-streams. Do not let religious lobby-groups take over health delivery, people; they only want more!

  • Pingback: [BLOG] Some Tuesday links | A Bit More Detail()

It is main inner container footer text