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Kenya's closing refugee camps could pose new security challenges, says Somalia

13 May 2016, 18:50

Mogabishu (Xinhua) -- The Federal Government of Somalia on Friday regretted Kenya's recent decision to close refugee camps that have been home to the displaced persons from the horn of African state since 1991 when it erupted into civil strife.

A statement from the ministry of home affairs warned that Kenya's decision to close the camps hosting Somalia refugees could pose new security challenges in the region.

"The Federal government of Somalia wishes to express reservations concerning Kenya's decision to close Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps," read the statement.

It warned that hasty closure of the two refugee camps will jeopardize the fragile security in Somalia and the greater horn of African region.

The Kenyan government has maintained it will close Dadaab refugee camp located in the northern parts of the country that hosts an estimated 500,000 refugees mainly from Somalia.

Senior Officials reiterated this week that international pressure will not force the government to back-track on the decision to close the refugee camp.

Cabinet Secretary for internal security, Joseph Nkaissery, on Wednesday said the government had set aside 10 million U.S. dollars to facilitate repatriation of Somalia refugees.

He said the decision to close refugee camps was informed by security consideration.

Kenya signed a tripartite agreement with Somalia government and UN refugee agency to facilitate smooth resettlement of displaced persons from the horn of Africa state.

The statement from Somalia ministry of foreign affairs urged Kenya to abide by the pact that roots for dignified and safe repatriation of refugees.

"The tripartite agreement serves as a blue print to oversee dignified resettlement of refugees in their native country and abandoning it will be a moral and legal failing on the part of Kenya," said the statement.

It added the Somalia government will strengthen collaboration with Kenya to root out terrorism.

- Xinhua


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