Kenya deports 82 Somalis; 3600 people in custody
Kenya confirmed on Wednesday that it had deported 82 illegal Somali immigrants in consultation with the Somali government and arrested 600 more people as part of an ongoing security operation.
"I can confirm that 82 people were deported today, all Somalis," Kenya's Deputy Interior Cabinet Secretary Mwendwa Njoka told Anadolu Agency.
"They were here illegally and didn't have any documents, so there was no basis for them to be here," he added.
Kenyan authorities launched a massive operation aimed at restoring security after a recent spate of attacks in capital Nairobi and the coastal city of Mombasa.
Njoka confirmed the arrest of some 600 people on Tuesday.
"Some of them didn't have any documents at all," he added.
This brings to more than 3600 people detained by Kenyan authorities since the launch of the security operation last week.
Njoka told AA Tuesday that the suspects had been detained and confined in Nairobi's Kasarani Stadium.
He said that 447 people were being interrogated and screened before being referred to court and that 69 have been taken to court.
Njoka said the deportations had been coordinated with the Somali government and ambassador to Kenya.
"Their government has accepted to take them back," he noted.
"Ambassador Mohamed Ali Nur happened to be there to access the operation," he added.
"This shows we are working hand-in-hand with the government of Somalia," Njoka said.
During a visit to Kenya earlier this week, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud vowed to continue cooperating with the Kenyan government.
Kenya currently shelters close to 800,000 refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Northeastern Kenya's Dadaab camp is believed to be the world's largest refugee center, hosting a total of some 500,000 refugees, mostly Somalis.