Matiang’i, UN Officials Strike Deal on Closure of Refugee Camps


  • Home Affairs Minister Fred Matiang’i and the head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi have reached an agreement on the closure of the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps.

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    In a statement issued on Thursday, April 19, the CS noted that the two had agreed that the closure exercise should be completed by June 2022.

    He further added that the affected people had the option of being repatriated or would receive free work permits to continue living in Kenya.

    “Host Commissioner Filippo Grandi today communicated with our map of the closure of the Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps by June 30, 2022. A team of officials from GoK and the UN refugee agency will promptly monitor the process set to begin May 5, 2022.

    Aerial view of Ifo 2 Camp, Dadaab.


    “Our brothers from the East African Community living in these camps will have the option of repatriating or free work permits to earn a living anywhere in the country, thus contributing to the economic growth of our society,” Matiang’i read in part. .

    This comes a day after the US State Department revealed that over the past one year, it had provided about Ksh10 billion to Kenya for refugee protection.

    “The United States has provided nearly Ksh10 billion for refugee protection and humanitarian assistance to Kenya as it provides regional leadership by welcoming refugees and asylum seekers from Somalia, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and beyond,” the statement read.

    The Kenyan government had given UNHCR a 14-day deadline on March 24, to come up with a road map on the closure.

    In a letter, the government expressed concern over the growing concerns of threats from the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps.

    â € œThere is no room for dialogue. We must strike a balance between Kenya’s international responsibility and its domestic responsibilities. We have a responsibility to protect Kenya, â € he advised the letter at the time.

    Later that day, the UN refugee agency responded to the Kenyan government to ensure that any decisions in the Daadab and Kakuma camps were accompanied by a sustainable and radical solution.

    “The decision would have an impact on the protection of refugees in Kenya, as well as in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. We will continue our discussions with the Kenyan authorities on this issue,” the UNHCR noted.

    Aerial photograph of the Kakuma Refugee Camp.Aerial photograph of the Kakuma Refugee Camp.

    Aerial photograph of the Kakuma Refugee Camp.




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