Published On: Mon, Sep 19th, 2016

Kenya: We will not reverse decision to close Dadaab

Kenya will not reverse its decision to close down the Dadaab refugee camp and repatriate refugees, Interior PS Karanja Kibicho has said.

Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp, hosts about 350,000 refugees, mainly from Somalia.

Kibicho said the camp has been harbouring terrorist, who have attacked various parts of the country, especially the Coast. The PS said every terror attack has had its roots from the camp, hence the decision to close it.

Kibicho spoke on Friday in Mombasa. He said the camp will be closed by November 30. “We have lived with them for about 25 years. It’s time for them to go, because most strikes have been planned from there,” Kibicho said.

He said it is the responsibility of the government to protect its citizens and borders from “external vicious force”. Kibicho said some Kenyans, who have been living in the camp and masquerading as refugees, will be investigated.

The PS said the repatriation will be done in a humane manner. “They will be taken to Somali and Kakuma camp. Some nations like the US have expressed interest in hosting some of them,” he said. Last month, the UN refugee agency said more than 24,000 Somali refugees have returned home.

UNHCR country deputy representative Wella Kouyou said this year alone, more than 18,000 refugees have been repatriated. He said the UNHCR will work closely with the Kenya and Somali governments to ensure the refugees repatriation is not only voluntary, but is also done in a dignified manner.

Kibicho also said all the 10 police stations in Mombasa will be fenced by December to reduce risks of attack.

He said the OCSs will forward the budget for erection of perimeter walls at the stations.

“We had a security meeting and one of the issues was the safety of the stations. I can assure you that it will be sorted out by December,” Kibicho said.

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