Refugee cri­sis to be dis­cussed at UN sum­mit

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics -

The refugee cri­sis in Kenya and other coun­tries will be dis­cussed dur­ing the first-ever UN Sum­mit on Refugees and Mi­grants which started yes­ter­day in New York. The sum­mit comes months after Kenya an­nounced her plans to close the Dadaab camp by Novem­ber 30. Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Ruto (pic­tured), who has sev­eral times de­scribed the camp as a cen­tre for re­cruit­ment, rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion, train­ing and plan­ning of ter­ror­ist at­tacks by al Shabaab, leads a high-pow­ered del­e­ga­tion. The spokesper­son for the United Na­tions High Com­mis­sioner for Refugees, Melissa Flem­ing, yes­ter­day said the sum­mit will be a game changer for peo­ple on the move in the world. “It is not for a few coun­tries to shoul­der the re­spon­si­bil­ity; other coun­tries should do much more,”she said in a video posted on the UNHCR’s of­fi­cial web­site, sig­nalling a clash likely to oc­cur in the sum­mit over fail­ure by rich coun­tries to help de­vel­op­ing ones. Kenya made the de­ci­sion to repa­tri­ate refugees in Novem­ber 2013, when Kenya, So­ma­lia and UNHCR signed a Tri­par­tite Agree­ment set­ting the scene for the repa­tri­a­tion. The agree­ment later de­gen­er­ated into a blame game, say­ing the par­ties in­volved were drag­ging their feet. Flem­ing said richer coun­tries have to pro­vide much more re­li­able fund­ing that is timely. If coun­tries host­ing refugees feel more sup­ported then they will be able to of­fer op­por­tu­ni­ties for refugees to work and com­mit to have every refugee child in school, she said. The Kenyan govern­ment says the coun­try has hosted more than 600,000 for more than 25 years, with lit­tles sup­port from the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. In May, the govern­ment said it will not back­track on its re­solve to close the Dadaab camp and repa­tri­ate refugees.

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