AFRICA/KENYA - Closure of Dadaab: President Kenyatta discusses it with the UN Security Council

Friday, 20 May 2016 migrants   un  

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - Today May 20th, the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, will meet members of the United Nations Security Council in Nairobi to discuss the impending repatriation of refugees as well as the general situation in Somalia, where most of the asylum seekers in Kenya come from.
The talks with the 15 diplomats are a follow-up to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s call to President Kenyatta asking him not to shut down Dadaab Refugee Camp. The Kenyan Bishops have strongly criticized the forced repatriation, while showing understanding for the concerns of the national authorities with regards to security (see Fides 19/05/2016).
Kenya justified the closure of the world's largest refugee camp saying that the camp had become a breeding ground for terrorists. "Some of the largest terrorist attacks, including the one at Westgate, were planned and executed from Dadaab", said another official of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kenya.
According to Nairobi, Kenya's security is closely linked to the situation in Somalia, and one of the points discussed between Kenyatta and UN representatives is the lack of AMISOM troops (the African Union Mission in Somalia which receives funding by the UN ) in Gedo region, "which has now become a safe haven for Al-Shabaab and a launching pad for attacks against Kenyan troops and people along the common border with Somalia", said the Kenyan Presidency in a statement.
The statement also complains about "the recent decision by the European Union to effect a 20 per cent reduction of funding to Amisom. Of equal importance, is the temptation of our international partners to forget that the African Union is in Somalia on behalf of the United Nations".
The announcement of the closure of Dadaab could be interpreted as a move to put pressure on the UN, European Union and other international partners so that they take into consideration the concerns of Nairobi regarding its safety. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 20/05/2016)