Somalia has termed the announcement Kenya to close Dadaab camp on security grounds a counterproductive measure warning the move could worsen the threat of terrorism in the region.
In response to the announcement Thursday, Somalia said it expressed grave reservation regarding Kenya’s decision noting it would affect majority of Somali refugee who are housed in the Dadaab and Kakuma camps in northern Kenya.
Kenya declared May 6th and followed with further announcements by its Interior Ministry that it was committed to closing the camps citing upsurge of terror, economic and environmental impact of refugee camps in the country.
It disbanded the Department of Refugee Affairs and announced Wednesday it had earmarked $10 million to oversee the process which will be spearheaded by a Taskforce on Repatriation of Refugees.
But in a rejoinder, Somalia it was upon Kenya to honor the terms of the 2013 Tripartite Agreement which set the repatriation roadmap involving Somalia, Kenya and the UN refugee agency UNHCR.
“Today, there is an established, agreed and effective mechanism in the form of the Tripartite Agreement that serves as the blue print for positive partnership between Kenya, Somalia and the UNHCR for the safe and dignified resettlement of Somali refugees in their home country. Abandoning this will be a legal and moral failing on the part of Kenya,” read a statement from Foreign Affairs Ministry.
The remarks come a day after the US called on Kenya to halt the process and adhere to the Tripartite Agreement and international humanitarian obligations. “We strongly urge the Government of Kenya to maintain its long standing leadership role in protecting and sheltering victims of violence consistent with its international obligations,” the US said.
Somalia, the Foreign Ministry said, was turning the corner and partnering with Kenya to confront global terrorism and sending away refugees forcefully would hurt the recovery process and increase insecurity.
“Expelling vulnerable Somali refugees at a time Somalia is making internationally recognised progress towards stability and institution building will only increase the risk of insecurity in the region,” the ministry said.