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Kenya wants to close large refugee camps | Currently Africa | D.W.

Kenyan government calls on UN The refugee agency UNHCR expects to bring the plan to close two of the largest refugee camps in East Africa within two weeks. Interior Minister Fred Mathiang said there was “no room for further talks” on the matter, according to his ministry. In connection with the request to the UNHCR, there was talk of a “final warning”.

“We need to find a balance between Kenya’s international obligations and its national responsibilities. It is our job to protect Kenyans,” Matiyangi told the Danish Nation, a Kenyan newspaper. All refugees must relocate within four months. If the UNHCR does not work, the refugees will be taken to the border with Somalia, the report said. The Interior Ministry confirmed the representation to Reuters.

The closure has already failed several times

In particular, it is about the Kakuma camp in northwestern Kenya, which is home to about 190,000 refugees, mainly in South Sudan and Datab in the northeast, where nearly 250,000 people are being housed, mainly from Somalia. Since the outbreak of the Somali civil war in 1991, the camp has grown exponentially, with many generations of refugees spending their entire lives in Dadaf. At peak times, the camp alone had a population of over half a million, making it the largest refugee camp in the world at the time.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited Cochin in early 2020

The Kenyan government views Dadaf as a threat to national security: it fears that radical Somali groups such as al-Shabab militants will recruit militants there. So, he tried several times to close the warehouse – which most recently failed in 2017. At the time, a court in the capital, Nairobi, argued that Kenya was unconstitutional and against its international obligations.

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UNHCR emphasizes dialogue

UN The refugee agency said it wanted to “continue its dialogue with the Kenyan government.” This is to ensure that “appropriate and sustainable solutions” are found so that “those who need protection get it”. At the same time, the relief organization warned of the possible negative consequences for the protection of refugees in Kenya, “in relation to the current COVID-19 epidemic”.

Kenya Refugee Camp Kakuma UNHCR

In the Kakuma camp, people are finding it very difficult to maintain due to climate change

Since invading the Somali border province for nearly a decade, the Kenyan military has been waging a military confrontation with militants there. Somali militants have carried out several bloody attacks in Kenya – targeting the Westgate Mall in Nairobi in 2013, two years after a university in the northeastern city of Kariza.

Nairobi is crossing with the Somali government over a border dispute over maritime-rich maritime areas, and in December Mogadishu severed diplomatic ties. The Interior Ministry told Reuters it had nothing to do with the closure plans.

ehl / rb (AFP, KNA, Reuters)