Dadaab camp clo­sure ex­ten­sion is wel­come

The Star (Kenya) - - Voices -

The Kenya gov­ern­ment’s ex­ten­sion of the Dadaab refugee camp clo­sure by six months from Novem­ber 30 2016 to May 31 2017 should be com­mended.

It is a pru­dent move as it gives both the gov­ern­ment and the UNHCR the time to think up and im­ple­ment more rea­son­able and safer mea­sures and pro­ce­dures.

The gov­ern­ment’s in­sis­tence that the camp is used by al Shabaab mil­i­tants to plan at­tacks in­side Kenya has been chal­lenged by hu­man rights groups, in­clud­ing global watch­dog Amnesty In­ter­na­tional.

Amnesty spoke specif­i­cally of So­mali refugees be­ing bul­lied into re­turn­ing to a war zone.

An­nounc­ing the ex­ten­sion, In­te­rior CS Joseph Nkaissery said it gives the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity time to en­sure refugees re­turn to a safe place. This ac­knowl­edges the world is not merely watch­ing but is a par­tic­i­pant in sta­bil­is­ing So­ma­lia and pro­tect­ing its peo­ple.

The Kenya gov­ern­ment should only ever repa­tri­ate a refugee with his or her full ac­knowl­edge­ment that it is safe to be re­turned home.

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