The government of Kenya on Wednesday said that it had set aside 10 million USD to help fund the closure of the world’s largest refugee camp in Dadaab.
“To kick-start the repatriation process and subsequent closure of Dadaab Refugee Complex, the Government has availed with immediate effect 10 million dollars and as part of putting in place the requisite technical infrastructure to oversee the repatriation process,” said Joseph Nkaiserry, Kenya’s Interior Minister.
Kenya says it needs to shutdown the camp, which is home to some 350,000 Somali refugees, citing security fears after a string of terror attacks by al-Shabaab. Nkaisserry said al-Shabaab fighters have been using the camp as a base for smuggling weapons.
To kick-start the repatriation process and subsequent closure of Dadaab Refugee Complex, the Government has availed with immediate effect 10 million dollars and as part of putting in place the requisite technical infrastructure to oversee the repatriation process.
Kenya’s second-biggest camp, in Kakuma, which largely holds refugees from South Sudan, appears to have been spared for now. Dadaab refugees have been given until the end of May 2017 to depart Kenya, sources say.
The UN and aid groups have said the closure of one or both camps could be devastating, and said that even if Kenya tries to push ahead, it may not be possible to force large numbers of people over the border into a country where a war is still raging.According to the Associated Press,The Associated Press further reports that 11 NGOs operating in Kenya issued a statement Tuesday urging the government to reconsider the intended closure of the refugee camp.
The statement was undersigned by International Rescue Committee, World Vision, the Danish Refugee Council, Jesuit Refugee Service, Action Africa, Help International, the Lutheran World Federation, OXFAM, the Refugee Consortium of Kenya, Save the Children, the Norwegian Refugee Council and Heshima Kenya.
The group also urged other countries to expand their resettlement quotas for refugees coming from the Horn of Africa in order to help Kenya and share the burden of hosting refugees.