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Closing Dadaab refugee camp will worsen terrorism, Somalia tells Kenya

Newly-arrived refugees run away from a cloud of dust at the Dagahaley refugee camp in Dadaab, near Kenya's border with Somalia in Garissa County, Kenya, July 16, 2011. Photo/REUTERS
Newly-arrived refugees run away from a cloud of dust at the Dagahaley refugee camp in Dadaab, near Kenya's border with Somalia in Garissa County, Kenya, July 16, 2011. Photo/REUTERS

Kenya's decision to close the Refugee department is "foul" and will negatively affect the majority, the Somalia government has said.

The county's Foreign Affairs ministry issued a statement on Thursday concerning the closure of Dadaab

for economic, security and environmental reasons.

Dadaab and Kakuma camps

house about 400,000 people; Daadab alone had about 340,000 refugees while Kakuma had more than 55,000 in UNHCR data released in September 2015.

Kenya says fighters from

Somalia's al Shabaab militant group have used Dadaab as a launch pad for attacks on the nearby Garissa University College in 2015 and other targets.

But Somalia said: “The move will make the threat of terrorism worse, not better, given the volatile situation this decision and the proposed subsequent actions will cause.”

The country further warned Kenya against breaching a tripartite agreement signed in 2013 with Somalia and the UNHCR. The agreement was for the safe and dignified resettlement of Somali refugees in their home country.

“Abandoning the agreement will be a legal and moral failing on the part of Kenya because Somalia is turning the corner," read the statement.

"We are partnering with Kenya to confront global terrorism. Such a mission depends on intelligence and resource sharing as well as partnership and mutual trust.”

Somalia's Western-backed government is struggling to rebuild the country after more than two decades of turmoil, first at the hands of clan warlords and militants.

Kenya determined

Interior PS Karanja Kibicho said the will have been moved from Dadaab camp by November.

He told editors at a Nairobi hotel on Wednesday Kakuma camp will not be affected, as it "does not pose any threat".

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Cabinet secretary Joseph Nkaissery said the government has for the repatriation.

“It is important to note that Somalia is now safe, ready and willing to receive her citizens."

"Refugee camps are not permanent settlements, they are not migration centres, and yet this seems to be what refugee camps in Kenya have been turned into."

But Several local and international human rights organisations have asked Kenya not to carry out the repatriation to protect the rights of refugees.

Among them are the and .