Last night at one o’clock were gun shots in group eleven, zone six in Kakuma refugee camp.
This was an attempt to vandalise a single shop located alongside the road opposite, Jebel Marra Primary School and the booth which provides water to zone six. This is an area occupied by somali new arrivals from Daadab.
These criminals came and broke the gate. Meanwhile the shop was fenced out. They were unable to break the next gate to get people to ask for money as their normal routine. In a while came an ambulence heading for the hospital which they targeted with bullets to return to town where it came. The thieves shot four bullets, luckily nobody was harmed as Shemal, a neighbour said. While they had not got anyone to threaten or shoot dead they made their way to their dwelling shooting two bullets again.
The nearest police didn’t go to rescue, located at Rajaf Primary School. The rest of the people were praying specially the sudanese churches till the gun shot was over. “Police from Kakuma 4 came,” said Shemal. “This police here is not police.” These Somali men claimed that these people had been buying and inspecting the shop. Only shops located in Oromo community and Ethiopian community in zone five are safer. These shops were fenced at the time when shooting at night was on daily basis. Besides, they are populated thus the few bullets believed to be in their guns (criminals) eventually gets finished and they are caught. None of them was identified.
Refugee communities always device a mechanism of defense by throwing stones or holding spears or swords. Whoever comes to your home shooting is a murderer. Before you are killed you have to protect yourself. These somali told me that they protected themselves and that’s why the thieves were unable to take anything. Whichever means they used, they didn’t tell.
Kakuma in history had had these night attacks on Christmas day which led to lost of many lives. Three quarters of the graves you will find at the cemetry are from these attacks. Only a few can survive their bullets. In 2004, was a moment of dislocation of Sudanese by the nationals who claimed their wife and man were killed in Kakuma two phase two. These were said to have been thrown into the pit. Actually, it was believed that they were caught at night trying to vandalise a certain home.
In 2008, when Sudanese were repatriated, the crime rate was high. Fences were made to prevent them. They came up with camels skin. The skin helped them pass over the mbegu thorns(fence) to kidnap whatever they needed. The defense mechanism was also there using spears which scared them. Each an every community in the camp planned to buy whistles agreed by community and group leaders. When they attacked a family, they had to blow whistle to let the rest know. That made it easier to get the communities protected and security too was tight. Only a few communities still have this defense mechanism.
The current Somali who were relocated to Kakuma from Daadab are these suffering these hardship they claimed to be the reason for their relocation. These attacks did and most of them still occur in December though the rest of the months can have.
This morning, this Somali family had began to close the gate enclosing the shop.
This issue in spite of security persist. I never know when it ends.