Refugees’ fate rests on Ki-moon phonecall to Kenya
From MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – THE United Nations is making frantic efforts to make Keya reconsider its decision to forcibly repatriate thousands of refugees, manily Somali, following the recent decision by the East African country to close its refugee camps.
The closure of the camps is set affect some 600 000 refugees that have sought sanctuary from the political problems afflicting their countries.
Plans by UN agencies to influence Kenya to rescind its decision have failed.
UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, has stepped in as a last gasp measure to ensure Kenya did not forcibly repatriate the refugees.
He has spoken over the phone to President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya urging him to continue to use the Tripartite Agreement, signed in November 2013 with the Federal Government of Somalia and the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) as a basis for the voluntary return of Somali refugees in safety and dignity.
Ki-moon has expressed the UN support to Kenya, including the proposal by the High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, that Kenya and UNHCR conduct a high-level bilateral review on the refugee situation in Kenya.
Meanwhile, as part of other measures to resolve the refugee crisis, Ki-moon has mentioned his deputy, Jan Eliasson, and Grandi would visit Kenya at the end of May.
“They look forward to discussing this issue forward with the Government of Kenya, and will underline the readiness of the United Nations to garner the support of the international community in addressing Kenya’s refugee challenges,” Ki-moon’s spokesperson said.
Kenya on May 6 announced plans to close its refugee centres, including the world’s biggest such centre, Dabaab.
The country said the camps had become a breeding ground for the Al Shabaab terror sect that has carried out deadly attacks in Kenya.
Kenya also argued hosting the refugees proved costly to government.
– CAJ News
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