Kenya has announced that it will officially close the Dadaab refugee camp before the end of November this year.
Kenya’s Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaisserry told journalists that Kenya is ready to implement a tripartite agreement signed by parties on a safe and humane way of repatriating the refugees.
“I want to inform the world that the decision to close Dadaab camp is final,” Interior Minister Joseph Ole Nkaissery said after receiving the team’s report. “We hope to close the camp latest by November this year.”
I want to inform the world that the decision to close Dadaab camp is final. We hope to close the camp latest by November this year.
Kenya has offered $10m to fund the process, which the minister says must be implemented, due to security threats posed by the continued existence of the camp.
Dadaab was set up in 1991 to house families fleeing conflict in Somalia, and some people have been living there for more than 20 years.
Charities and the UN have voiced dismay at the closure plan, while rights groups have warned that forcibly repatriating refugees would break international law.
International bodies have also raised concerns over the refugees upon relocation to Somalia as they will change to be Internally Displaced Persons and therefore not refugees eligible for support from the UNHCR.