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The government will officially close the Dadaab and Kakuma Refugee Camps by June 2022

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Kenya has officially submitted a statement to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, on the decision to close the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps by June 30, next year.

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Minister of National Security Dr. Fred Matiang’i has assured the refugees living in the camps that they will be repatriated or given free, work permits to earn a living anywhere in the country, once the camps are closed.

According to Minister Matiang’i, the move will enable them to contribute to the nation’s economic growth.

The government has cited the terrorist threats planned from the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps as the main reasons for pushing for the closure of the world’s largest camps.

A few days ago, Commissioner Grandi had said that Kenya would not close the camps but would seek solutions to those challenges.

But Matiang’i now says that a committee comprising officials from the Kenyan government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has agreed to speed up the implementation of the closure of the camps from May 2022.

On April 8 this year, the country’s Supreme Court issued an order suspending the government’s intention to close the camps, which are home to hundreds of thousands of refugees from war-torn neighboring countries.

Prior to the order, Minister Mayiang’i had asked the UN refugee agency to provide for the closure of the camps and that there was no room for debate on the decision.

The government’s move sparked mixed feelings among various stakeholders in the country as well as the international community.

According to UN figures, the Dadaab and Kakuma camps have housed more than half a million refugees from Ethiopia, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

About Collins Ouma

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