“Reconciling Security Concerns and Refugee Protection
Dr. Ken Oluoch, PhD

Global refugee problem is not a new phenomenon. Both the Nazi Holocaust and World War II resulted in serious refugee situations in the western world that led to need to come up with framework to address the problem. The UN Refugee Convention of 1951 became the main instrument that provided international refugee law that provides for among other things, the legal definition of a refugee, the protection of refugees as well as the durable solutions. Protection of refugees essentially became the responsibility of the international community. In Africa's context, the 1951 Convention and its 1967 protocol, as well as the Organization of Africa's Unity (OAU) Refugee Convention of 1967 are instrumental in providing the legal framework under which the refugee situations are handled. Kenya started hosting refugees in the 1960s primarily from Sudan. In early 1970s many refugees from Uganda arrived in Kenya following the Idi Amin's misrule there. However, the major influxes of refugees into Kenya occurred in the early 1990s following violent conflicts in a number of countries within the Horn of Africa and Africa’s Great Lakes Region. These included Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Zaire (DRC) and Rwanda. This paper examines the extent to which Kenya implements international refugee law in the light of security concerns that are linked to refugeeism. The main questions the paper attempts to answer are, to what extent does Kenya implement international refugee law? To what extent are the durable solutions applied? The paper argues that states implement international refugee law only to the extent to which the refugee question does not raise serious security concerns.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/rhps.v5n1a3