Update to KEN33251.E of 25 November 1999 regarding the treatment of ethnic Somali Kenyans by the government since the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) took power in December 2002; government response to demands for enquiries into, and compensation for, the October 1998 massacre of ethnic Somali Kenyans of the Degodia clan; screening cards issued to Somali Kenyans seeking national identity cards (December 2002 - September 2003) [KEN41844.E]

In correspondence with the Research Directorate, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Ottawa, who is currently writing a book entitled Deteriorating Human Security in Kenya: Domestic, Regional and Global Dimensions, said, that he had heard about police raids in the Nairobi suburb of Eastleigh-home to hundreds of thousands of Somali Kenyans and Somali nationals-during his visit there in June 2003 (13 Aug. 2003). The Assistant Professor also recalled seeing ethnic Somalis on television complaining of discrimination and police profiling, which was supposedly related to fighting terrorism (ibid.).

Various references corroborating the Assistant Professor's findings regarding the discriminatory treatment of ethnic Somali Kenyans by the authorities were found among sources consulted (EAS 4 Nov. 2002; ibid. 14 Feb. 2002; CKRC n.d.; International Religious Freedom 2002 7 Oct. 2002, Sec. II); however, only one documentary reference was found discussing their treatment since the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) took power in December 2002 (Daily Nation 26 June 2003).

In a report on the Kenyan parliamentary proceedings of 25 June 2003, Yusuf Haji, Kenya African Nationalist Union (KANU) Member of Parliament for Ijara, asked the government why police were "harassing" Nairobi's Eastleigh residents, most of whom are Somalis, while allegedly tracking down terrorists (ibid.).

Since the introduction of a screening process in 1989, Somali Kenyans were required to substantiate their claim of Kenyan lineage to receive a screening card that would then allow them to apply for a national identity card (ibid. 9 Aug. 2002a). They were expected to carry both documents-the screening card and the national identity card-as proof of identity (ibid. 9 Aug. 2002b). However, according to The Nation, President Moi announced in August 2002 that the screening process of North Eastern Province residents had been lifted (9 Aug. 2002a; The Nation 9 Aug. 2002b), although corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted. Additional information on screening cards is available in Country Reports 2002 and a report by Human Rights Watch entitled "Screening of Ethnic Somalis: The Cruel Consequences of Kenya's Passbook System."

No information regarding demands for enquiries or compensation for the October 1998 massacre of ethnic Somali Kenyans of the Degodia clan could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Assistant professor of political science, University of Ottawa. 13 August 2003. Correspondence.

Constitution of Kenya Review Commission (CKRC). n.d. Ahmed Issack Hassan. "North Eastern Province and the Constitutional Review Process - Lessons from History." http://www.kenyaconstitution.org/docs/09d002.htm [Accessed 13 Aug. 2003]

Daily Nation [Nairobi]. 26 June 2003. Muriithi Muriuki. "Kenyan MPs Strike Anti-American, Anti-British Note During Debate on Terrorism." (BBC Monitoring/Dialog)

East African Standard (EAS) [Nairobi]. 4 November 2002. Abdikadir Sugow. "The Business of Eastleigh Is Business 24 Hours Every Day." (allAfrica.com/Dialog)

_____. 14 February 2002. "Policy Sending Wrong Signals in the NE Province." (allAfrica.com/Dialog)

The Nation [Nairobi]. 9 August 2002a. "President Halts Screening of ID Applicants in NEP." http://allafrica.com/stories/printable/200208090204.html [Accessed 14 Aug. 2003]

_____. 9 August 2002b. "Moi's Gift to North Eastern." http://allafrica.com/stories/printable/200208090031.html [Accessed 16 Sept. 2003]

International Religious Freedom Report 2002. 7 October 2002. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. http://state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2002/13839pf.htm [Accessed 14 Aug. 2003]

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential (December 2002 - July 2003)


Indian Ocean Newsletter (30 November 2002 - 2 August 2003)

IRB Databases

Keesing's Record of World Events

Internet sites, including:

Africa Online

African Studies Quarterly


Amnesty International (AI)

BBC Africa

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2002. 31 March 2003. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2002/18209pf.htm

East African Standard

Global IDP

Human Rights Watch (HRW). 5 September 1990. "Kenya: Screening of Ethnic Somalis, The Cruel Consequences of Kenya's Passbook System." http://www.hrw.org/reports/pdfs/K/KENYA/KENYA909.PDF

Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN)

Relief Web

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