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Kenya considers ‘halting’ Dadaab’s closure plan – UN envoy
Somali News

Kenya considers ‘halting’ Dadaab’s closure plan – UN envoy

MOGADISHU –The new special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on Somali refugees said that Kenyan government is considering to halt its plan to close Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp amid a looming deadline by the government which announced it’d close the camp in November. The sami-arid camp which covers a large territory hosts hundreds of thousands of Somalis who fled their country due to conflicts and prosecutions. Speaking to the reporters at the camp on Thursday, Mohamed Abdi Affey said that there were ongoing negotiations with the Kenyan government to help the extension of the deadline set for the closure of the camp. In addition, Mr. Affey has denied reports of illegal forced refugee repatriations by the Kenyan government which said it would close the camp, citing ‘pressing’ security concerns and that al-Shabab planned attacks from there. “Refugees are voluntarily returning to their motherland, there are no forced repatriations.” He said, urging refugees to respect their host country. Meanwhile, the Kenyan government has raised the possibility of extending the camp’s closure deadline, insisting that its decision was an ‘open-ended’ one rather than a fixed deadline, an apparent reverse of previous remarks by the cabinet secretary Joseph Nkaisserry who said that the closure plan was ‘final’. The decision decried by aid agencies and the Somali government came following attacks by al-Shabab in Kenya which sent troops fighting militants in Somalia after spate of kidnappings of tourists in Kenya.  Kenya has blamed al-Shabab for the attacks that have led to a steep decline in the country’s tourism industry.