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Police disperse refugees outside UNHCR offices in Nairobi

Friday May 10, 2019

The refugees have been camping outside the agency’s office’s for months hoping to get their monthly payments/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 10 – Police have lobbed teargas to disperse refugees who have been camping outside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees offices in Westlands.

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The refugees have been camping outside the agency’s office’s for months hoping to get their monthly payments.

They have accused the agency for failing to remit their dues, putting them in precarious situation since they cannot afford food or housing.

Police were called when security guards manning the agency started roughing up the tens of refugees, who resisted aggressively.

One of them is Jean Claude, who is physically disabled, who came to the country in 2013 from DRC Congo, who says the agency should address their grievances instead of ignoring their pleas, as they suffer.

“They’re beating even the disabled. We have suffered enough already to go through this pain,” Claude, who was seated on a wheelchair told Capital FM News.

Claude watched his beddings, which included a dirty tiny mattress and a light cloth being burnt down by the security guards, an incident witnessed by Capital FM News crew.

“Where will I sleep on?” Claude posed.

While this was happening, a mother of three who is also a refugee was wrestling her way to salvage some of her beddings.

“I have children. There’s no way I will watch as you burn down all what we have in this life,” she yelled.

She was only permitted to pick them after intervention from this reporter.

Another refugee from the war-torn Somalia, who didn’t manage to give his name because police interrupted, accused UNHCR officials in the Wetlands offices of ignoring their plight.

“Where is our money?” he rhetorically asked.

“They drive big cars, live in big houses at our expense.”

Capital News didn’t manage to immediately get a comment from the agency.

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