Kenya to send Somali refugees back home

Kenya is set to work with Somalia in ensuring that refugees from the neighbouring country return to their homes.

President Kibaki told reporters on Friday that “there is no dignity in living in refugee camps”, adding that he would like to see the thousands of Somalis hosted at Dadaab go back home.

He spoke after hosting his Somali counterpart Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud.

“Our two governments will work together to enable the hundreds of thousands of Somalis who are living in refugee camps to return to their homes,” he said at State House.

The announcement followed an earlier order by the Department of Refugees Affairs to stop any registration of refugees in towns but only in designated refugee camps.

The Government of Kenya “will close down all registrations centres in urban areas with immediate effect”, said acting commissioner for the Department of Refugee Affairs Badu Katelo in a notice published in dailies last Tuesday.

Mr Katelo said that all refugees from Somalia should report to Dadaab refugee camp while asylum seekers from other countries should go to Kakuma.

The registration, he said, would now be done in the camps. He asked the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to stop giving any direct services to those in urban areas.

The UNHCR said Dadaab was designed to accommodate only 90,000 people but now has six times this number.



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