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Somalia Criticizes Kenya’s move to close Dadaab, Kakuma refugee camps
Africa

Somalia Criticizes Kenya’s move to close Dadaab, Kakuma refugee camps

The Somali government has criticized the move by Kenya to close Dadaab andKakuma refugee camps that host hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees. Speaking to BBC Somali Service the Information Minister Osman Dubbe said the decision by Kenya runs counter to international conventions protecting refugees. “The (Somali) Refugees are protected by the Geneva Convention and therefore Kenya has no right to forcefully repatriate refugees,” Dubbe said. “So, if we have succeeded to resolve our internal (rebel) issues, they (Kenya) should not turn to the refugees for revenge.” The remarks by the Information Minister comes barely less than a week after Kenya’s Interior Ministry Fred Matiangi announced plans to close two camps that accommodate hundreds of thousands of refugees from Somalia. Kenya demanded that the U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, present a “road map” in two weeks that details how the evacuation of the refugees can proceed. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) responded to the Interior Ministry, warning of a catastrophe if the refugees are ejected from the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps which have a population of 218,873 and 196,666 registered refugees respectively. “The UNHCR has been informed by the Kenyan authorities of their intention to close Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps within a short timeframe. The decision would have an impact on the protection of refugees in Kenya, including in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue our dialogue with the Kenyan authorities on this issue.”