U.N. to Kenya: Stop forcing Somalis out

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- The U.N. refugee agency has urged Kenya to end the forcible return of Somalis seeking asylum after three people who crossed the Kenyan border were sent back.

"We very much regret the latest decision to forcibly return to Somalia the three wounded Somalis and call upon the Kenyan authorities to fully respect the principle of non-refoulement, as enshrined in the 1951 Geneva Convention and Kenya's own Refugees Act," Ron Redmond, spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, said in a news release.


Non-refoulement is a principle in international law that concerns protection of refugees from forcible return to places where their lives or freedoms could be threatened.

The latest incident occurred last week, the agency reported Tuesday, when a woman and two men were among several Somalis intercepted by border police as they crossed the border in northeastern Kenya. Border police said they fired upon the vehicle carrying the border-crossers and injured the three -- who told agency personnel they were fleeing to Kenya to seek asylum.

The three were hospitalized when hospital officials said police officers ordered them into a police van and drove them to the border. Authorities later confirmed they were returned to Somalia.


The agency said it notified the Kenyan government of similar incidents in 2008, also involving asylum-seekers from Somalia.

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