Kenya takes in a new group of Congo, Burundi asylum seekers

Report
from Kenya Daily Nation
Published on 14 Nov 2013 View Original

In Summary

  • More than 65 asylum seekers who had camped at the Kitale police station after escaping attacks by rebel groups in Congo and Burundi have been taken to the Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana.

  • A UNHCR agent John Bororio said the agency was searching for part of the group said to have taken a different route.

  • “The rebels killed my father and mother on separate days on grounds that they had defied their directive and accepted government jobs,” said Mutombo who sustained injuries during his escape.

More than 65 asylum seekers who had camped at the Kitale police station after escaping attacks by rebel groups in Congo and Burundi have been taken to the Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana.

Consisting mainly of women and children, the refugees were ferried to the camp through the intervention of the United Nations refugee agency, the UNHCR.

A UNHCR agent John Bororio said the agency was searching for part of the group said to have taken a different route.

“We arranged for the transportation of this group to Kakuma refugee camp after learning of their humanitarian challenge.

That is where they can be assisted effectively,” he said.

The tired, scared and hungry refugees narrated how they dodged death as they witnessed their relatives being killed by rebels on a mission to recruit youths.

Antiokio Bweza, a former headmaster at a primary school in the capital of Goma, Eastern Congo, said he received a strange visit from M23 rebel who wanted him to give up pupils to be recruited in to the militia.

“They came to my office and demanded that I hand over my staff and pupils.

I left them in the office on the pretext of calling the teachers, but I escaped for my life,” said Mr Bweza.

He took his wife and their two-year- old girl and escaped to Western Uganda, where they found refuge at a church.

Church leaders arranged for their trip to Kenya, a three-week journey to Kitale.

Olivier Mutombo was a secondary school student in Eastern Congo, but fled when rebels killed his parents for being government employees.

“The rebels killed my father and mother on separate days on grounds that they had defied their directive and accepted government jobs,” said Mutombo who sustained injuries during his escape.

The Burundians had similar harrowing stories.