Decision to close Dadaab Refugee Camp final – Ruto to UN

Decision to close Dadaab Refugee Camp final – Ruto to UN

Deputy President William Ruto says the move by Kenya to close the Dadaab Refugee Camp is final and cannot be reversed.

Ruto told the international community at the World Humanitarian Summit attended by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon that those willing to support the refugees should send their finances to Somalia to help in resettling them.

He said that the camp is a security threat, a haven for terrorism and conduit of contraband goods as well as a danger to the environment.

“Kenya has been faithful to her international obligations of humanitarian assistance but no country can shoulder humanitarian responsibilities at the expense of the security of her people and the refugees themselves,” said Ruto.

He said that the country’s contribution and commitment to humanitarianism is beyond question as the country has housed the refugees for over 25 years.

Ruto delivered the same message Ki-Moon and Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud after meeting them at the sidelines of the summit.

The Deputy President observed: “We have been steadfast and unparalleled despite the huge cost to the country in monetary, security, environmental and ecological spheres” noting that Kenya attended the summit to discuss the repatriation process.

“We are looking forward to discussions on how best to fast-track the repatriation of refugees process so that they can go back and contribute to rebuilding of their country.”

He noted that Kenya is not using the refugees issue to solicit financial support from the international community. “Kenya has used its own resources for many years to support refugees and help stabilise Somalia. The country spends 100 million US dollars annually to support military intervention in Somali.”

“Kenya has paid the prize of terrorism and smuggling of weapons and contraband goods into the county because of the camp.”

The DP said that the closure of the camp is in the best interest of refugees within the framework of the Tripartite Agreement between the Government of Kenya, Federal Government of Somalia and UNHCR.

He said it was unfortunate that “the Dadaab Refugee Camp lost its humanitarian character and instead mutated into a centre for radicalisation, planning and training of Al Shabaab terrorists as well as a conduit for contraband goods, weapons, electronics and sugar which is killing local industries.”

“For the last two years, the refugee camp has posed an existential threat to Kenya.”

“The planning, coordination and the execution of the terrorist attack in Westgate Shopping Mall that killed 67 people in Nairobi, the Garissa University terror attack where we lost 147 students and Lamu attack where 67 Kenyans lost their lives were all traced to the camp.”