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

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults 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.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid