Kenya announce plan to close down two refugee camps

May 9, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

 

By

Dukhan Jundit

The Government of the Republic of Kenya has moved to close down soon the Kakuma and Dadaab refugees camps.

According to the letter obtained and signed by Principle Secretary of the Interior Dr Karanja Kibicho, the reason for closing camps is due to security, hardening the economic and environmental burden in the country.

 

 

The two camps currently host 600,000 refugees, mostly from Somalia and South Sudan. Dadaab is one of the largest refugee camps in the world, based in eastern Kenya it mainly hosts Somali refugees escaping the Al-Shabaab militants in their country. The camp in kakuna has been operational since 1991 and mainly hosts refugees from South Sudan.

 

Rights groups around thew world have condemned the plans to close the refugee camps.

 

Update

The United Nations has condemned the Kenyan’s decision to close down the Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps.

UNHCR issued a statement from Geneva, aired by Nation FM radio in Kenya, asking the Kenyan government to reconsider its decision and avoid taking any action that might be at odds with international obligations.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights also opposes the government’s plan.

Vice Chairman George Morara said much as Kenya’s concern regarding the heavy burden of refugees was understandable, sending 600,000 away is against human rights.

The Kenyan government is yet to respond to UNHCR’s statement concerning the closing of the camps.

The two camps are currently hosting refugees from Somali, South Sudan and other countries’ citizens. Many South Sudanese have taken refuge in Kakuma following the outbreak of civil war in December 2013 .

 

 

 

 

 

Dukhan Jundit

Dukhan is a freelance journalist in South Sudan having contributed to numerous publications and worked as News Editor for InterNews Radio in the Upper Nile State previously.

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