SEEK EVACUATION

Kenyans stuck in Middle East slavery plead for help

Seven Kenyans stuck in Somalia also plead for help to return into the country

In Summary

• The hundreds of women in Saudi Arabia say they have tried to reach out to the Kenyan embassy in Riyadh in vain.

• Some have to beg for food to sustain themselves

Muhuri rapid response officer Francis Auma and chairman Khelef Khalifa at the Muhuri clinic in Mombasa on Tuesday
CONCERNED: Muhuri rapid response officer Francis Auma and chairman Khelef Khalifa at the Muhuri clinic in Mombasa on Tuesday
Image: /JOHN CHESOLI

Kenyans stuck in Middle Eastern countries including Saudi Arabia and Oman have pleaded with the government to evacuate them.

In video and voice clips shared by family members on social media, some say the state has neglected them to pain and suffering “because we are poor.”

In one clip allegedly from Saudi Arabia, a woman appearing unconscious is supported by a group of other women as they narrate their ordeals.

 
 

They say they went into the country through agencies which secured for them household and gardener jobs.

But with the outbreak of Covid-19, their bosses dismissed them and the airports have been closed.

The majority have to put up in crammed single rooms, living a day at a time, hoping the good tidings come their way soon.

“Some of us have resorted to living in the streets and petrol stations. We are being persecuted here through racial discrimination,” one says in the clip.  

The hundreds of women say they have tried to reach out to the Kenyan embassy in Riyadh in vain. Some have to beg for food to sustain themselves, they said. 

Muslim for Human Rights rapid response officer Francis Auma told the Star they have received complaints of at least five people stuck in Oman under similar circumstances.

Auma said his organisation had also received complaints from seven Kenyans stuck in Somali high seas. They have written to Interior CS Fred Matiang’i to facilitate their return.

 

“We don’t understand why the government finds it easy to dispatch planes to China, India and London to evacuate those who can pay but ignore those in dire situations in the Middle East,” he said.

 

He wondered why the government is waiting for public pressure and online campaigns to act in defence of its citizens.

"This is shameful, to say the least," Auma added.

Concerning the Kenyans in Somalia, Muhuri said the seven travelled for work but on return, were denied entry at Ras Kamboni area. Authorities confiscated their travel documents and they have been there April 5.

Lamu county commissioner Irungu Macharia declined to grant them access into the country despite assurance by Muhuri that it would ensure their quarantining.

(edited by o. owino)