Sabahi (Washington, DC)

25 October 2013

Kenya Fires 15 Immigration Officials in Security Crackdown

Photo: Kenya Military
Part of the Westgate mall that was raided by armed militia in Nairobi.

Fifteen immigration officers have been fired as the government continues to tighten national security after last month's attack on Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall, Kenya's Secretary of Interior and National Co-ordination Joseph Ole Lenku announced Friday (October 25th).

He said the officers were fired for issuing "Kenyan identity documents to illegal immigrants thereby endangering national security".

Lenku also vowed a complete audit of all identity cards and passports issued in the last two years to "flush out those who have been issued with illegal passports and other identification documents".

"For the avoidance of doubt, let me be loud and clear, the purge that has started today will extend to many other government departments," he said.

"So all those who may have been part of the network facilitating the issuance of Kenyan identification documents to illegal immigrants who turn out to be criminals, I have only one message for you: your days are clearly numbered," he warned.

In the wake of the Westgate attack, several Kenyan officials pointed the finger at Dadaab refugee complex as being a "training ground" for Somali extremists.

Lenku stopped short of supporting calls from some Kenyan lawmakers that the camp be immediately closed, but said Somalia was "now experiencing relative peace" and that Kenya was "working closely" with the Somali government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to ensure that repatriation of refugees is as "smooth and humane as possible".

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