We’re called Shabaab for lack of IDs – locals
They have to travel 250km to acquire one
Residents of Mandera East say they are branded Somali refugees and al Shabaab for lack of identification cards. They said they are harassed by security forces.
“The security forces here are so tough. If they find you walking and they ask for your identification card and you do not have it, they brand you al Shabaab or even a Somali refugee, harass you and even lock you up,” a resident of Mandera Township said.
Area MCA Feizal Abdinoor said residents find it hard to travel 250km to El-Wak in search of ID cards. “We want to ask the government to bring back the ID registration process to Mandera East. El-Wak is quite a distance and [finding] transport to get there is a ma- jor problem,” Feizal said.
ID issuance in Mandera East was stopped in August 2013, following allegations of non-Kenyans acquiring them through dubious means. But Mandera East Registrar of Persons Said Salim Dhadho in February said his office resumed issuance in March 2015.
He said residents miss out on jobs as many do not have ID cards. Feizal said chiefs provide wrong information about people’s place of birth.
“Most of the chiefs here are not well educated, thus will indicate information of areas they operate and not where the applicant comes from. This has led to lack of opportunities for our residents and even jobs,” he said.
Residents said they are forced to pay the vetting team that is responsible for certification of birth certificates, school certificates and age assessment certificates.
STATE STOPPED ISSUANCE OF IDS IN MANDERA EAST 2013, BUT RESUMED LAST YEAR