Kenya Gives UN 3-Months To Relocate World’s Largest Refugee Camp

Kenya Gives UN 3-Months To Relocate World’s Largest Refugee Camp

Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya

The Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya is the world’s largest, with more than 600,000 people. According to the Kenyan deputy president, William Ruto, Kenya will change ‘the way America changed after 9/11,’ William Ruto said ‘we must secure this country at whatever cost’, in Nairobi, Kenya Ruto gave the United Nations’ refugee agency three months to relocate refugees from the Dadaab camp — the world’s largest, or ‘we shall relocate them ourselves.’

‘The way America changed after 9/11 is the way Kenya will change after Garissa,’ Ruto said in Nyeri, according to a statement from his office. Al-Shabaab gunmen stormed Garissa University College in eastern Kenya this month, killing 147 people. Kenya’s government says that attack was masterminded by senior Al-Shabaab leader Mohamed Mohamud, whose ‘extensive terrorist network within Kenya’ extends into the sprawling Dadaab complex, according to a Kenyan government document given to CNN.

The Kenyan Vice-President, William Ruto, (who is the second highest person in Kenya’s government behind President Uhuru Kenyatta,) said his government has had discussions with United Nations officials about what to do with the camp but a U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees officer said the agency had not received any formal request from Kenya’s government about moving Dadaab. The Dadaab refugee complex is being managed by the U.N. refugee agency, since the first camps were set up there at the end of 1991 amid Somalia’s civil war.

Ruto however said it’s not clear exactly where he expects the refugees to go, but they ‘must’ be relocated somewhere into Somalia and ‘out of Kenya.’ Any mass move would be a monumental task, disrupting the already difficult live of more than 600,000 Somalis who call the camp their home.

Simply meeting basic needs is a challenge in the vast complex, which has seen devastating droughts, contagious diseases and other travails that have tested its residents and those trying to help. Still, as tough as conditions for the refugees in the World largest camp, they are seen there as a better alternative to life back in Somalia, where Al-Shabaab, a Somali terror group with global ambition is based and carrying out violent attacks for years.

In addition to moving the Dadaab refugees camp, Kenya government is building a 435 mile (700-kilometer) wall covering most of the Somali border from Mandera to Kiunga, a long stretched wall, according to Vice-President, Ruto has begun to prevent Al-Shabaab elements from getting into Kenya he also vowed that any businesses collaborating with the militant group will be shut down. These measures are in addition to Kenyan air strikes on Al-Shabaab camps in Somalia in the days after the Garissa massacre. ‘We must secure this country at whatever cost, even if we lose business with Somalia,’ Ruto said.

“No politics, no games, no half-measures should apply, as the death of the 147 students must touch all People of Kenya”

FRANCIS TAWIAH (Duisburg – Germany)


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