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Rights group concerned over closure of refugee camps

03 October 2013, 11:08

Nairobi - A human rights organization has slammed government’s move to close down refugee centres in the country.

According to the organization, the closure of such centres especially in the northern parts of the country might not guarantee the country’s security.

“Parliament should look into ways to tighten the law and policy relating to asylum seekers and refugees in the country. Closing down the camps will not do enough,” said Katuo Cha Sheria Deputy Executive Director, Laban Osore.

He added that Kenya has played host for Somali refugees to a period extending over two decades but failed to establish a law that would regulate the refugee status in the country.

Osore opposed the move to force the refugees back to their country since the new Somali government was not fully in charge of the country. He added that the move would be counter-productive.

The chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Administration and National Security, Asman Kamama, nonetheless reiterated that the government ought to close down the Dadaab Refugee Camp citing that it posed a security threat.

He also appealed to the United Nations to assist Kenya in closing down the camp that was established some decades ago to accommodate Somali refugees fleeing from the civil war in their country.

Locals have misgivings about Somali nationals following the bombing of the Westgate Mall late last month.

The Al Shabaab claimed responsibility of the attacks that claimed the lives of about 70 people.

– CAJ News


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