The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has accused Kenya of violating human rights over the forced deportation of South Sudanese prominent rebel official and criticized Nairobi for violating what it described as ‘violation of international refugee law’.
The accusation comes as Kenyan police kidnapped rebel spokesman James Gatdet Dak and deported him to volatile war-ravaged South Sudan.
The UNHCR said the Kenya action amounts to “a violation of the principle of non-refoulement, which is the cornerstone of international refugee law.”
Kenya, a guarantor of the Geneva Convention, has been labeled by UN observers as the ‘21st century abuser of United Nations international refugee law’.
Nairobi reacted angrily Wednesday after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon dismissed Lieutenant General Johnson Kimani Ondieki, who was the chief of the peacekeeping mission (UNMISS) in the troubled South Sudan.
“UNHCR is deeply concerned about the well-being of Mr James Gatdet Dak, SPLA IO Spokesperson, who was returned to South Sudan from Kenya on Monday, 2 November. Mr Dak had previously been granted refugee status by the Kenyan authorities,” UNHCR says.
The refugee agency says its repeated requests to Nairobi to not deport Dak to Juba were ignored by the highest office of Kenyan government.
After failed attempts to prevent the deportation of Gatdet Dak to Juba, the UNHCR urges Juba to treat him ‘in accordance with human rights law and standards’.
Meanwhile, UNCHR sources say that Kenya’s decision to deport James Dak to Juba was baffling and that several influential members of the UNCHR human rights body have already declared (secretly) Kenya as a nation with questionable position on South Sudan’s civil war.