Sat, 21 May 2022

NAIROBI, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Thursday removed the names of 14,000 people who were erroneously inserted in the database of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and granted them citizenship.

Hussein Dhado, the chief administrative secretary in the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, described the delisting process as a big step in protecting citizens who were at risk of becoming stateless.

Dhado who spoke in Garissa town in northeast Kenya said that conferring citizenship to local citizens who were regarded as refugees was a top priority.

He said all the individuals who were deregistered as refugees will be entitled to basic services like education, health, housing and access to capital from lending institutions to enable them to engage in businesses.

Kenya launched the deregistration process of individuals who were erroneously regarded as refugees in 2019 to enable them to acquire a national identity card and engage in gainful economic activities.

David Mulbah, a protection officer at UNHCR, said that Kenyan citizens who were removed from the refugee database will be able to make a positive contribution to the country's economy.

"UNHCR remains eternally grateful for the issuance of identity cards to Kenya nationals, this is because it reduces their risk of statelessness given that they already belong to a country. Reducing and preventing statelessness is also part of our mandate," he said.

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