International community has failed to address refugee crisis – Ruto


International community has failed to address refugee crisis - Ruto

Kenya has criticized the international community for failing to address the refugee crisis in the world.

Speaking during the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Deputy President William Ruto said the humanitarian crisis had been left mainly to developing countries.

“As we assemble here today, 86 per cent of the world’s 22 million forced migrants and refugees are hosted in 10 developing countries,” noted Ruto.

“Nothing can better demonstrate the failure of international burden-sharing than this reality. It is also an indictment on the global framework for responding to human distress.”

He told the meeting to reflect on the situation and redress it to allow the developing nations to meet the obligations of its citizens.

Ruto said despite having several high level meetings to address the refugee crisis, we continue to witness displacement of people.

“Clearly, this reflects a huge gap between our resolve and meaningful action to prevent and manage forced migration,” Ruto, who represented President Uhuru Kenyatta added.

“The framework designed to respond to human distress has become ineffectual.”

The Deputy President said Kenya hoped the discussions in the UN General Assembly will galvanize action that translates into positive impact on the lives of the affected populations.

Since independence, he added, Kenya has been host to refugees and asylum seekers from tens of countries, with Somalia giving the largest number for the longest time – more than two-and-half decades.

He said this protracted situation has evolved into a complex crisis posing peculiar challenges to Kenya as a host country.

Ruto pointed out that some of the refugees were a security threat engaging in terrorism, trading in small arms and contraband goods in addition to destroying the environment.

“More recently, the Dadaab Refugee Complex has lost its humanitarian character and been appropriated by terrorists and their agents, transforming it into a center of radicalization, terrorist training, planning and launching of attacks. It is also a hub for illicit movements of small arms and light weapons,” Ruto observed.

He said despite Kenya informing the international community during the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly of the unsustainability of the Dadaab Refugee Complex, and urged for international support to ameliorate the disproportionate burden, nothing substantial happened.

Although, the international community pledged USD 500 million to meet the financial aspect of this burden, less than 1% of this commitment has been realized.

The Government of Kenya announced its decision to close the Dadaab Refugee Complex and facilitate the repatriation of Somali refugees, within the framework of the 2013 Tripartite Agreement.

It also set up an elaborate structure that is interacting continuously with the Government of Somalia and the UNHCR on all aspects of the repatriation.

Kenya also deployed USD 10 million to support the repatriation in addition to engaging the World Bank, the African Development Bank, Arab Development Bank to create an enabling environment for the Somalia Government to receive its people.

The DP urged the international community to collaborate with the Government of Somalia in the reconstruction and restoration of critical services in order to support repatriation and resettlement.

He said the reconstruction of Somalia lies in the return of its people and the solution to protracted refugee situations be addressed by dealing with the root causes of violence and conflict are addressed.

The Deputy President welcomed the adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and the envisaged comprehensive refugee framework that will inform response to humanitarian crisis.

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