HOST REFUGEES, KENYA TOLD

The Star (Kenya) - - News General -

Kenya should end its “dogged de­ter­mi­na­tion” to close the Dadaab refugee camps and in­stead help refugees in­te­grate into lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, Amnesty In­ter­na­tional has said. Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty’s re­gional di­rec­tor for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, yes­ter­day said, “Thou­sands of refugees re­main at risk of forced repa­tri­a­tion to a war-torn coun­try where they are at risk of death or in­jury in the on­go­ing con­flict.” In May, the gov­ern­ment said it will close the camps by No­vem­ber 30, cit­ing ter­ror threats, the eco­nomic bur­den and lack of global sup­port to host the more than 300,000 refugees. On Wednes­day, it said it will ex­tend the clo­sure of the camps by six months. Wanyeki urged the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to share the refugee bur­den by pro­vid­ing more re­set­tle­ment places. On Tues­day, Amnesty re­leased a re­port de­tail­ing “ev­i­dence” that refugees at the world’s largest camp are be­ing co­erced to leave. But In­te­rior CS Joseph Nkaissery de­nied Kenya is bul­ly­ing refugees into re­turn­ing to So­ma­lia, say­ing the process is “hu­mane, safe and dig­ni­fied”.

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