Somalia opposes decision to shut down Dadaab Refugee camp

Somalia opposes decision to shut down Dadaab Refugee camp

Somalia has opposed the decision by the Kenyan government to shut down the Dadaab refugee complex and repatriate the refugees, after disbanding the Department of Refugee Affairs.

Somalia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said the decision will adversely affect the majority of Somali refugees living in Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps, and worsen terrorism threats in the region.

“This decision will negatively affect the majority of Somali refugees who are housed in the two camps and will make the threat of terrorism worst, not better, given the volatile situation this sudden decision and the proposed subsequent actions will cause,” said Somalia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.

In a statement, Somalia, however, thanked Kenya for hosting Somali Refugees for more than 20 years, and further engaging in efforts to restore peace in the conflict-prone nation.

“Today, there is an established, agreed and effective mechanism in the form of the Tripartite Agreement that serves as the blue print for positive partnership between Kenya, Somalia and the UNHCR for the safe and dignified resettlement of Somali refugees in their home country. Abandoning this will be a legal and moral failing on the part of Kenya,” said Somalia.

Somalia is now appealing to President Uhuru Kenyatta to stick to the Tripartite Agreement that had been agreed upon between Kenya, Somalia and UNHCR to ensure a safe and dignified resettlement of Somali refugees back home.

“Today, there is an established, agreed and effective mechanism in the form of the Tripartite Agreement that serves as the blue print for positive partnership between Kenya, Somalia and the UNHCR for the safe and dignified resettlement of Somali refugees in their home country. Abandoning this will be a legal and moral failing on the part of Kenya,” read the statement.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s country that is still grappling with Al Shabaab militia says abandoning the treaty will also derail the ongoing Somalia-Kenya partnership to defeat terrorism.

“Somalia is turning the corner and we are partnering with Kenya to confront global terrorism. However, the collective regional success of this mission depends on intelligence and resource sharing as well as partnership and mutual trust. Expelling vulnerable Somali refugees at a time Somalia is making internationally recognized progress towards stability and institution building, will only increase the risk of insecurity in the region,” further read the statement.

This comes after Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery vowed the repatriation will start by end year, and announced formation of a task force to work out the modalities and file a report by May 31st.