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February 16, 2019

Dadaab refugee camp to be closed by November, Nkaissery says

Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery receives the report on repatriation of refugees from Daadab camp from the taskforce assigned to chart the process at Harambee House on Tuesday, May 31 2016. Photo/Joseph Ndunda
Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery receives the report on repatriation of refugees from Daadab camp from the taskforce assigned to chart the process at Harambee House on Tuesday, May 31 2016. Photo/Joseph Ndunda

The government has reiterated its commitment to close Dadaab refugee camp by November this year.

Interior cabinet secretary Joseph Nkaiserry said on Tuesday that the repatriation of the asylum seekers, mainly from Somalia, will be done in a humane manner.

The government is citing security threats as reasons for closing the world's largest camp hosting 329,811refugees who ran away from the neighbouring country in the wake of the 1991 civil war.

Nkaiserry said the government will share a report prepared by refugees repatriation taskforce that outlines modalities of exiting the group.

The report, he said, shall determine repatriation timelines and the cost of the exercise with stakeholders.

The CS spoke after receiving the report by the taskforce co-chairmen Joseph Irungu and head of the department of Immigration Gordon Kihalangwa at Harambee House.

"I want to inform the world that a decision to close the Dadaab camp is final, the repatriation process will start. We will share the report with UN high commission for refugees," he said.

 "This report will give us the way forward on how this process is going to take place and hope once we share it  with UNCHR, the process will start," Nkaissery said.

The CS said the report is based on agreement reached in the tripartite agreement signed in November 2013 between Kenya, Somalia and UNHCR.

He said the process should have started then but has been grappling with delays.

Nkaiserry said most of the refugees are gearing to go back to their country.

The CS said deputy president William Ruto led a powerful delegation to Instabul last week where the matter of Somali refugees featured prominently.

"The position of Kenya was very explicit that the refugees in Dadaab will have to be repatriated to their countries,"  he said.

The CS said the government committed $10million (Sh1 billion) to execute the move.

Nkaissery said the Somali government is fully prepared to receive its citizens.

"On our side, we will prepare the issues of security for the refugees, the most humane way of how to go. But this is a UN exercise, we are there just to help them to get the refugees back," Nkaiserry said.

"When they go to the other side they will become IDPs (Internally displaced persons). They will require schools, hospitals, water, roads and other facilities," he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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