chapter  3
27 Pages

Kenya

BySarah Deardorff Miller

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR) domestication in Kenya provides a clear example of an IO's surrogate state role coupled with state abdication. This chapter presents the case of Somali refugees in Kenya via a brief introduction to the relevant history, politics and refugee policy. It then applies the framework, outlining the ways in which UNHCR domesticates into a surrogate state—the conditions and motives, examples of surrogacy and why its surrogacy has been sustained. The chapter then examines UNHCR's ability to influence the state, explaining why it is less influential as a surrogate state. Kenya's more recent refugee policy has been marked by abdication and a strict focus on security. In response, UNHCR and its partners have assumed blanket responsibility for refugees, operating "care and maintenance" camps since the early 1990s. Historically, central authorities in Nairobi have always had a tense relationship with the Northeastern Province (NEP) since its colonial days.