35 Ethiopian nationals repatriated

Kenyan government has deported 35 Ethiopians who were arrested and detained at the Wajir Prison.

The 35 were arrested and charged in Wajir Law Courts in July after being found in Kenya illegally.

Overseeing their release on Friday, Ali Hassan Maday, Wajir County Prisons Commander said the refugees were immediately sent back to their home country.

After consultations with the top County security officials, we facilitated the return of the Ethiopians to their country Hassan said.

In the past, the immigrants would have spent three to four months at the Wajir Station due to logistical challenges, added Hassan.

He noted that the decision to repatriate the prisoners was aimed at reducing the cost incurred in accommodating them after the completion of their jail terms.

As we continue to come up with new strategies, we have decided to come together as government officials to facilitate their transport to ease the burden on taxpayers, he said.

The prison commander also confirmed that the prisoners, who included 26 men and 9 women, were transported back to Ethiopia using a police lorry.

Wajir resident magistrate Mugendi Nyaga in August ordered each of them to pay a fine of Sh 50,000 or to serve a month in jail. However, most of them were unable to pay and had to serve the sentence.

Kenya Human Rights Commission (KNHCR) early August revealed several challenges faced by the Ethiopian prisoners; including language barrier, congestion in the cells and lack of standard cells to accommodate the female prisoners.

Hundreds of Oromo origin Ethiopians have crossed the border into Kenya recently, fleeing clashes that have been going on for months which have displaced thousands of people.

Source: Kenya News Agency