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Kenya Demands UN Remove Massive Somali Refugee Camp

Kenya Demands UN Remove Massive Somali Refugee CampKenya Demands UN Remove Massive Somali Refugee Camp

Kenya has given the United Nations three months to remove a camp housing more than half a million Somali refugees, as part of a get-tough response to the killing of 148 people by Somali gunmen at a Kenyan university.

Kenya has in the past accused Islamist militants of hiding out in Dadaab camp which it now wants the UN refugee agency UNHCR to move across the border to inside Somalia.

“We have asked the UNHCR to relocate the refugees in three months, failure to which we shall relocate them ourselves,” Deputy President William Ruto said in a statement on Saturday, Reuters reported.

“The way America changed after 9/11 is the way Kenya will change after Garissa,” he said, referring to the university that was attacked on April 2.

Emmanuel Nyabera, spokesman for the UNHCR in Kenya, said they were yet to receive formal communication from the government on the relocation of Dadaab and could not comment.

The complex of camps hosts more than 600,000 Somali refugees, according to Ruto, in a remote, dry corner in northeast Kenya, about an hour’s drive from Garissa town.

The camp was first established in 1991 when civil war broke out in neighboring Somalia, and over subsequent years has received waves of refugees fleeing conflict and drought.

The United Nations puts the number of registered refugees in the chronically overcrowded settlements of permanent structures, mud shanties and tents, at around 335,000. The camp houses schools, clinics and community centers.

 

Financialtribune.com