Case Study Idps Kenya and Somalia

Internal Displacement: The Cases of Kenya and Somalia
This Paper looks at causes of conflict-induced internal displacement in two East African countries. It compares and contrasts the causes of displacement in Kenya and Somalia and examines national and international humanitarian and political responses. While Kenya has functioning institutions and vibrant civil society and presence of international diplomatic and humanitarian community, the case of Somalia is the opposite. However, both countries have significant numbers of displaced people and the response of the state, especially in application of the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, have been lukewarm. The overriding question in this Paper is thus the limitation and prospects of applying the Guiding Principles in preventing and responding to situations of conflict-induced displacement in the two countries.
The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement
Some ten years ago, Francis Deng, the then Representative of the Secretary-General on internally displaced persons, presented the “Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement” to the Commission of Human Rights. These Principles set out the basic tenets of a human rights-based approach to protecting and assisting internally displaced persons (IDPs)—protection from displacement, protection and assistance during displacement, and guarantees for return, settlement, or reintegration in safety and dignity. The Guiding Principles (GPs) define IDPs as “persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to
avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border” (OHCHR-UNOG, 1998). They were developed by a team of international legal experts and presented to the Commission on Human Rights in...