Refugee camps were too expensive for the taxpayer-CS Amina Mohamed
Foreign affairs Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohammed has defended the government’s move to close all refugee camps in the country.
Addressing the media in the company of African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Mohammed noted that the timeline agreed upon for hosting refugees expires in September 2016.
“We had to disband the Department of Refugee Affairs because it was too expensive for the Kenyan taxpayer,” said the CS. “We received no support from the international community for shouldering this international responsibility, needless to mention we have been hosting Refugees since the sixties.”
Amina further stated that the government had agreed with the UN refugee agency UNHCR and Somalia to end the repatriation of all refugees from Somali by September.
The CS was speaking after the 4th Ministerial Retreat of the Executive Council of African Union Commission at a city hotel.
On Friday, Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho said the government had already disbanded the Department of Refugee Affairs and will also close two refugees’ camps in due course with no immediate plans to re-open them.
Kibicho explained that the move is part of the government’s plan to restore security in the country due to the challenge posed by Al Shabaab.
“As a result of hosting these refugees, the Government of Kenya has continued to shoulder very heavy economic, security and environmental burden on behalf of the region and international community,” said Kibicho.
“The Government of Kenya acknowledges that this decision will have adverse effects on the lives of refugees and therefore the international community must collectively take responsibility take responsibility on humanitarian needs that will arise out of this action,” said the PS in a statement.