The North Remembers (part 2/4)


This photo essay series explores the creation and negotiation of citizenship for Kenyans of Somali origin. It also explores the ongoing marginalisation that’s manifested itself through armed force, social and economic measures in North Eastern Kenya.

Read part 1 of the series here

March 27th 1965
Minister for Internal Security and Internal Defence, Njoroge Mungai reiterated his firm stance that Kenya would not cede any of the disputed territory with Somalia. During the discussion in the house of representatives Mungai threatened use of Kenya’s armed forces to quell the dissent.
“We have enough arms and ammunition, even African pilots and we can drag (the) Shifta back to Mogadishu where they belong”
October 11th 1989
The North Eastern Provincial Commissioner, Ataos Bore, during Moi Day celebrations, talked about the urgent need to screen Somali’s who were getting Kenyan Identification cards even though they were “not really Kenyan” He also threatened to arrest the people who pressure the police into releasing the arrested aliens
November 10th 1989
The government declared a national screening of all persons over the age of 18 from the Somali ethnic community to “establish those of Kenyan origin against those from neighbouring countries
( University of Nairobi was also closed indefinitely because of the absence of meatballs from their dinner menu)
The faces of residents from North Eastern province around the time of the Somali screening exercise. The exercise had Somalis deemed to be citizens issues with pink slips as ‘certificates of verification’ while the rest were thrown into detention camps and deported by the lorry-load

April 23rd 1966
Mandera MP S. Amin, Garissa Senator A.H Ahmed and KANU Branch Chairman Yunis Sheikh refuted claims that the members of the armed forced in the region had led acts of violence against innocent people.
They described the allegations as “tomfoolery”and painted it as smear campaigns by MPs who had just resigned from the ruling party.

Photo Credits: Awjama Cultural Centre and the Heinrich Boll Foundation

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