INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION AND REGIONAL SECURITY IN AFRICA: A CASE STUDY OF THE REFUGEE QUESTION IN KENYA, 1990-2015

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Kenya as a country has seen a major influx of refugee populations from across nearby countries. With this influx, a marked increase in insecurity has been noted. This research sets  out  to  investigate  the  contribution  of  the  influx  of  Refugees  and  the  status  of insecurity  in  the  case  of  Kenya  over  a  period  of  25  years.  The  research  problem statement, research questions, and objectives were identified and discussed in the study. By achieving these objectives, the study endevours to explain the refugee question in Kenya and to propose course of action to address the refugee generated insecurity phenomenon existing in the country. A comprehensive literature review has been done to give a background of the subject matter as viewed from the global and local perspectives. To achieve the stated research objectives the World Society Theory, a derivative of constructivism has been used as the main framework from which the study was grounded on and as the lens in which the key attributes of the research are analyzed. The Theory is appropriate due to the fact that refugee matters are not purely the domain of the state but other non state actors such as International Governmental Organizations, Non- Governmental Organizations, Community Based Organizations, host communities and individual Refugees have a stake and critical roles to play. To aid in attaining the objectives of the study, hypotheses for testing were formulated. The study was conducted using the descriptive design combining both qualitative and quantitative approaches; Secondary data was obtained from published scholarly materials, journals, government reports, newsletters television documentaries and newspapers while primary data was obtained from personal interviews with key informants, and questionnaire responses from individual Refugees. The analysis was done using simple statistical and document analysis. The finding of the study shows that the set out hypotheses to some extent were proved to be true. However hypotheses number 1 and 2 have not been proven beyond doubt as the imminent insecurity in the country cannot be solely attributed to the influx of Refugees. It is also clear that the legal, policy, and institutional frameworks as well as strategies of managing the refugee regime in Kenya have not been very effective in handling refugee related insecurity. The study concludes that although refugee influxes especially where concerned states are not getting assistance in burden sharing from the international community could be a source of insecurity. The extent to which this applies requires further investigation. Challenges within the policy, legal and institutional frameworks  are  a  major  factor  in  the  refugee  question  in  Kenya.  Arising  from  the analysis of the results, key policy and academic recommendations have been suggested. If these are to be fully implemented it is hoped that the dilemma facing Kenya and other African countries in the management of their refugee regimes could be effectively dealt with and hence the relevance of this study.

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