‘No Other Home’: Refugees in Kenya Camps Devastated Over Closure


On March 24, Kenyan Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i declared the United Nations’ refugee agency (UNHCR) had two weeks to come up with a plan for closing the Dadaab and Kakuma camps, which between them host some 410,000 people from more than a dozen African countries.

Otherwise, they would force refugees to travel to the border with Somalia. In a tweet, Kenya’s interior ministry called this an “ultimatum” and said there was no room for further negotiations.

In response, the UNHCR said it was grateful for the generosity of the Kenyan government for hosting so many refugees for so long but was “concerned about the impact this decision would have on the protection of refugees in Kenya, including in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

UNHCR said it would continue to engage in dialogue with the Kenyan authorities before the April 6 deadline and urged the government to “ensure that any decisions allow for suitable and sustainable solutions to be found and that those who continue to need protection are able to receive it.”

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