Kenya: Talks about closure of Dadaab must result in concrete action to protect refugees

As the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, prepares to leave Kenya today following talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta and a visit to Dadaab refugee camp, Amnesty International is calling for concrete action to be taken to ensure continued protection for thousands of refugees at risk of forcible return to strife-torn Somalia. The Kenyan government has announced plans to close Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp, by November 2016.

Both the Kenyan government and UNHCR must ensure that:

No refugees are repatriated to Somalia against their will. All repatriations must be as a result of voluntary choice by individual refugees.

In the meantime, the Kenyan government should reopen the Department of Refugee Affairs and ensure that it offers much-needed services to all refugees.

Amnesty International continues to receive reports of arrests, detention and harassment of refugees by the police in many parts of Kenya since the government’s plan to close the camp was announced in May.

 

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