Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Kenya warned over closing world's biggest refugee camp

15 April 2015, 08:07

Geneva  - The United Nations warned Kenyan authorities Tuesday that closing the world's biggest refugee camp complex would have "extreme humanitarian and practical consequences" and would violate international law.

On Sunday, the Kenyan government said it had asked the UN refugee agency to repatriate hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees from the sprawling Dadaab refugee camp by July in the wake of the Garissa University massacre claimed by Al Shabaab insurgents from Somalia.

"We recognise the obligation of the government to ensure the security of its citizens and other people living in Kenya, including refugees," UNHCR spokeswoman Karin de Gruijl told reporters in Geneva, expressing shock at the April 2 attack that left nearly 150 people dead.

However, she said the UNHCR was deeply concerned that abruptly closing Dadaab, which houses 350,000 refugees and is considered the world's biggest camp, and forcing refugees to return to Somalia could have dire consequences.

Read Also: Why Duale should be arrested over Garissa attack

Such a move "would have extreme humanitarian and practical consequences, and would be a breach of Kenya's international obligations," de Gruijl said.

"We are thus urging the Kenyan authorities to give the matter further consideration," she said.

Kenya hosts some 450,000 Somali refugees, most of them housed in Dadaab's vast complex of five camps.

The site opened in 1991 after the collapse of Somalia's hardline Siad Barre regime when the country plunged into chaos.

The Kenyan government had already sought the closure of Dadaab after the September 2013 Al Shabaab attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi that left at least 67 people dead, saying the camp was a breeding ground for Islamist militants.

In November that year, Kenya, Somalia and the UNHCR signed a joint deal to back the voluntary repatriation of Somalis.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Mudavadi given permission to join...

Musalia Mudavadi has been ghranted permission by his party to join the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...