Refugee crisis to be discussed at UN summit
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.