Kenya plans to close Dadaab refugee camp

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Karanja Kibicho says, 'government has decided that hosting of refugees has to come to an end'

Baku. 7 May. REPORT.AZ/ The Kenyan government says it is working on the closure of the Dadaab refugee camp, which is home to a huge number of refugees.

Report informs referring to the Russian media, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Karanja Kibicho, said on Friday the government "has decided that hosting of refugees has to come to an end," citing "heavy economic, security and environmental burden."

He said the Department of Refugees Affairs, which deals with Kenya's refugee affairs, had been disbanded as a first step toward closing the camps.

He called on the international community to back the move and "collectively take responsibility on humanitarian needs" that will arise from the closure of the camps.

Constructed over 20 years ago, Dadaab, in northeast Kenya, is the world's largest refugee camp, hosting nearly 330,000 refugees, mostly from Somalia.

Kakuma, in the northwest, hosts about 150,000 refugees mostly from South Sudan, Sudan and Somalia.

The Kenyan government believes Somali Islamist group Al-Shabaab has hideouts in the Dadaab camp.

Last year, Kenya asked the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) to repatriate the refugees in Dadaab, following Al-Shabaab's massacre of 148 people at Kenya's Garissa University in April.

The repatriation is being carried out under an agreement signed between UNHCR, Kenya and Somalia, but Kibicho said the process had been slow.

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