Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



Kenya court halts move by government to close refugee camps

The Dadaab refugee camp, Kenya   -  
Copyright © africanews


Kenya’s High Court has temporarily has halted a move by the government to close the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps housing nearly 500,000 people.

The court issued a stay order on Thursday following a petition filed to the high court that challenged a decision by the Interior Ministry calling on the UN refugee agency to formulate a plan to close the camps as soon as possible. Most of the refugees are Somali.

The case will be initially heard on April 13.

Kenya gave the UN Refugee Agency a 14-day ultimatum on March 24 to formulate a plan to close the camps, Kenya’s Interior Ministry tweeted, saying there is no room for further negotiations.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) promptly responded and warned of a catastrophe if refugees are ejected from the Dadaab and Kakuma camps which have a population of 218,873 and 196,666, respectively.

The East African country revealed plans to shut the Dadaab camp in November 2016, citing a security threat to Kenyans.

Kenya alleged that al-Qaeda affiliated al-Shabaab terrorists who attacked Garissa University, killing more than 140 students in 2015, had been facilitated by sympathizers from the camp, citing it as the main reason for the closure.

View more