Reprieve for Somali Refugees as Kenya extends closure of Dadaab Refugee Camp by six months.

Government of Kenya extends closure of the Dadaab Refugee Complex by six months.

 

The government of Kenya has extended the closure of the Dadaab Refugee Complex by six months.

The Cabinet secretary of Interior, Major Gen. (Rtd.) Joseph Nkaissery announced the deadline extension by six months yesterday at Harambee House, saying the government’s decision followed human rights groups’ request for an extension due to what they termed as the delicate situation in Somalia.

“Kenya is committed in upholding the law during this process,” Nkaissery said.

Nkaissery who was speaking to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, and Somali Ambassador to Kenya, Jamal Mohamed Hassan also said that the extension will give the international community time to ensure peace and security is restored in Somalia.

Amnesty International had accused the Kenyan government, of coercing refugees to go back to the war-torn Somalia without offering any alternative options to the refugees.

The human rights body report indicated that majority of refugees were not willing to go back to Somalia.

Somali refugees cited insecurity, lack of basic services and fear of discrimination as reasons for not wanting to return back to Somali.

International Rescue Committee has welcomed the deferral of the closure of Dadaab refugee camp, however it has noted that more needs to be done in solving the delicate refugee crisis.

IRC has asked the involved parties to use the opportunity to critically reflect on humanitarian concerns, that have emerged since efforts to close the world’s largest camp began six months ago in a statement sent to newsroom.

In May, Kenya announced the decision to close Dadaab refugee camp, citing national security concerns the camp posed, as it was used as an entry point by Al Shabaab.

Kenya currently hosts more than 500,000 refugees in the Dadaab complex.

The first month is slated for clearing double registration, while all non-Somali refugees will be repatriated to other UNHCR camps.

Complete relocation of Somali refugees to third countries will be done in the third month while the fourth and fifth month will see the complete relocation of Somali refugees from Dadaab to Somalia.

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