News / Africa

UN Refuses to Close Somali Refugee Camps in Kenya

VOA News
The United Nations says it will not close Somali refugee camps in Kenya, despite an order from a government minister for the camps to shut down.

Kenya hosts nearly 500,000 Somalis who have fled their country over the past 20 years, most of whom live in the sprawling Dadaab camps near the border.

On Sunday, Kenyan Internal Security Minister Joseph Lenku said the camps must close and refugees must prepare to return to Somalia.

Kitty McKinsey, a spokesman for the U.N. refugee agency, said in an interview with VOA the agency is not taking Lenku's words as a command.

"We do not believe that there is any order for the refugee camps in Kenya to be closed," she said. "The Kenyan government and the Kenyan people have been very generous to the refugees over the years, and we certainly have every reason to expect that will continue to be the case."

Earlier this month, the agency and the governments of Kenya and Somalia signed an agreement to support Somali refugees who return home voluntarily.

McKinsey emphasized that the agreement did not call for the refugee camps to be shut down.

"There are no plans to close the refugee camp," she said. "Certainly the agreement that was signed among UNHCR, the govts of Kenya and Somalia does not call for the closing of the camps. There's not going to be a closure any time soon, nobody is talking about closing the camps any time soon."

A number of Somali refugees have returned home in recent months as fighting has eased in Somalia and the economy improves.

But many refugees remain in Kenya, where some have lived since the outbreak of Somalia's civil war in the early 1990s.

According to the U.N. refugee agency, the five Dadaab camps are home to 388,000 Somali refugees. It says another 54,000 live in the Kakuma camp in northwest Kenya, with another 32,000 living in the capital, Nairobi.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
November 29, 2013 3:49 AM
According to Kenyan media couple of years ago clearly stated that Kenyan benefited most from the intense torment of Somali refugees pouring into Kenya, as result the economy of Kenya mushroomed. Now it makes no sense blaming Somali refugees the insecurity, bribery and corruptions that plagued Kenyan public life. But at the end of the day Somalis in the refugee camps in Kenya have to come back home and make the best out of it. Surely in the near future Kenyan will have no one to blame for their political short coming.

by: Nimo from: Nairobi
November 26, 2013 2:22 PM
herding Somalis off to their country isn't the solution to Kenya's security lapses and Lenku knows this. Who is busy taking bribes from illegal immigrants? who is busy taking lots of money from foreigners who's business is unknown? Answer... Kenyans! We are to blame for the lapses. If we have zero tolerance for corruption and embrace community policing, we head in the right direction of internal security.

by: ipopo from: Ebakasi
November 26, 2013 5:56 AM
refugee should return to somali bec of insecurity in kenya.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs