Kenya to start repatriation of refugees next week


Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho
Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho. PHOTO: File

The Government is ‘dead serious’ about closure of the Daadab Refugee Camp, this is according to Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho.

Kibicho said that the first group of 300,000 refugees will be repatriated from July 1st, 2016.

“The government is ‘dead serious’; we’re not taking you on a goose chase,”said the Interior PS.

Kibicho, however, appealed to the international community to assist Kenya with finances to conduct the repatriation exercise in a humane manner.

Kenya has started the repatriation process with the Ksh 1 billion the government had set aside for the process.

The entire repatriation process will cost Kenya Ksh 20 billion.

This comes just a day after U.S President Obama said the United States and Kenya will work closely together to ensure the needs of refugees and host communities are met.

In a telephone conversation with President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday, the two Presidents discussed the challenges Kenya faces in hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees for more than two decades and the need for strong international support.

Early May, the government declared that it will no longer be hosting refugees in the interest of national security. Kenya said it was shutting down the camps due to “very heavy” economic, security and environmental issues.

Kenya plans to close the Daabab Refugee Complex by November 2016.

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