Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto said the government’s decision to shut down the Dadaab refugee camp is final, stressing the need for the international community to support the action.
Addressing the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, Ruto also appealed to the international community to channel funds, in order to resettle the refugees in Somalia.
He said: “Kenya has been faithful to her international obligations of humanitarian assistance, but no country can shoulder humanitarian responsibilities at the expense of the security of its people and the refugees themselves.”
He noted that Kenya had shouldered heavy burden in caring for more than 6,000 refugees amid threats of terrorism that had turned into a serious security concern in the country.
“Among the key reason Kenya decided to close the camp, is that the camp in north eastern Kenya has lost its humanitarian character, turning into a radicalization centre where Somalia-based terror group planned it’s activities, and also train radicalized youth at the camp,” Ruto said.
He also noted that the country had made immense contribution to humanitarian care.
“Kenya has used its own resources for many years to support refugees and help stabilize Somalia, and we have spent US$100 million annually to support peacekeeping mission in Somali,” Ruto stressed.
“The closure of the camp was being carried out for the best interest of refugees within the framework of the Tripartite Agreement between the Government of Kenya, Federal Government of Somalia and UN refugee agency (UNHCR),” he concluded.
Ruto had conveyed the same message to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, when he held talks with them on the sidelines of the summit.