Govt to manage two refugee camps
21 June 2013, 17:57
The government through the Department of Refugee Affairs is enhancing its capacity to effectively manage the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps.
Addressing the public while marking the 13th World Refugee Day, Badus Katelo, the Commissioner for Refugee Affairs said that Kenya has been facing challenges in hosting many refugees from neighboring countries.
"Kenya hosts over 672 967 refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Burundi thus proper camp management is needed to overcome insecurity, congestion, environmental degradation and health challenges," said Katelo.
Katelo also noted that because hosting refugees is not a permanent obligation, the government is seeking a durable solution to refugees.
He added that with return of relative peace and stability in Somalia, the two governments have consulted with United Nations Humanitarian Committee of Refugees (UNHCR) to put mechanisms in place for repatriation of Somali refugees living in Kenya.
"Kenya has taken several initiatives both at the national and international levels to sensitize and mobilize support of Somali refugees, and the two Presidents have held high level discussions on repatriation process," said Katelo.
In addition, Katelo said that Kenya and Somalia governments together with UNHCR have developed a draft tripartite agreement to provide a legal mechanism for repatriation.
The Commissioner commented Kenyan citizens for staying peaceably, helping and freely interacting with the refugees. He urged them to further keep on loving refugees as the repatriation discussions between the two governments continue.
He said there would be a conference in Nairobi in August, 2013 to discuss among other issues, voluntary repatriation of refugees.
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