Kenya is currently hosting over 600 000 refugees in camps. They announced today that they will be closing the refugee camps. Most of the people living in the camps have fled from Somalia and the fighting there. While the majority are from Somalia there are about 250 000 who have fled violence in South Sudan, Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.
Many of the people living in the camps have been there for more than 25 years. Children born in Kenya know nothing of their parents’ home. The Dadaab camp near the Somali border is the largest in the world with over 350 000 people.
The government of Kenya announced the closure of the refugee camps last year, but bowed to international pressure to continue to maintain them. This time they have closed the Department of Refugees. A combination of economic, security and environmental concerns have been given as the reason for the move.
Kenya is currently dealing with the terrorist group Al-Shabab which is associated with Al Qaida. The terrorists were responsible for numerous deadly attacking on Kenyan civilians.
Kenya, having taken into consideration its national security interests, has decided that hosting of refugees has come to an end," CNN
Amnesty International has condemned the move to forcibly send people back to Somalia where they have a good chance of encountering violence and death.
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