The UNHCR has responded to a directive by Interior CS Dr Fred Matiang'i on the closure of Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps.
In a statement, UNHCR urged the Kenyan Government to ensure that any decisions on the refugee camps allow for suitable and sustainable solutions to be found.
“The decision would have an impact on the protection of refugees in Kenya, including in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue our dialogue with the Kenyan authorities on this issue,” the statement reads.
“UNHCR stands ready to support the Government of Kenya in continuing and further strengthening the work that is ongoing to find solutions that are orderly, sustainable, and respect refugee rights,” the statement adds.
Matiang'i Calls For Camp Closure
On Wednesday, Dr Matiang’i issued a 14-day ultimatum to the refugee agency on the closure of the two camps stating that there is no room for further negotiations.
The CS opined that the camps have become sleeper cells for terrorists who plan attacks and are a threat to security in the region.
In addition, the strained relationship between Kenya and Somalia also played a part in the call for the closure of the camps.