According to a Kenyan government official, 336,000 Somali refugees will not be forced back into the war torn country of Somalia. Though, the government still intends to close one of the world’s largest refugee camps within the next three months due to security reasons. After an attack by al-Shabab militants in April, William Ruto, vice president of Kenya, told the U.N. that they have until July to move all 366,000 Somali refugees from Dadaab camp.
The U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) and some global charities have protested this decision because of danger that the people would face if they are forced back into Somalia. Currently, according to the 1951 U.N. Refugee Convention, forcibly removing the refugees back into countries where they may be in danger is illegal under international law.
The chair of Kenya’s refugee affairs commission, Ali Bunow Korane, stated they are, pledged to the swift return of the refugees to their home countries, “more so Somali refugees.” The camp is near around one hour from the town of Garissa near the northern border with Somalia where al-Shabab insurgents killed 148 at the university on April 2.
By Alex Lemieux
Photo by Alun McDonald/ Oxfam – Creativecommons Flickr License