The government of Kenya has given the United Nations a three month ultimatum. The UNHCR has been ordered to shut down the massive Dadaab squatter camp and take it’s 400,000 residents back to Somalia.
The government of Kenya says that in the UN does not comply within three months, the camp will be shut down by force and the refugees expelled.
Kenya also broke ground on a massive new border wall with Somalia last week.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees has three months to close a refugee camp in eastern Kenya and send the more than 400,000 Somalis living there back to their country or else the Kenyan government will relocate them, Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto has said.
The Kenyan government says the Dadaab refugee camp in eastern Kenya has become a recruitment center for the extremist group al-Shabab whose gunmen last week killed 148 people at the country’s Garissa College University. Ruto said in a rally on Saturday that Kenya must be secured at all costs.
“We have asked the UNHCR to relocate the refugees in three months, failure to which we shall relocate them ourselves. The way America changed after 9/11 is the way Kenya will change after Garissa,” Ruto said in a statement distributed by his press office.
Director of Immigration Services Gordon Kihalangwa, who officially broke the ground in Mandera late on Monday, urged the locals to support the project which he said would help prevent Al Shabaab militants from crossing into Kenya, Xinhua news agency reported.
Kihalangwa said the wall would run from Mandera in the north to Kiunga in the east coast, covering Mandera, Wajir, Garissa and Lamu counties.
He said the purpose of the wall was to demarcate the Kenya-Somalia border besides securing the country from Al Shabaab militants, adding that the government was doing everything possible to sensitise members of the public on the importance of the wall.
“The project is fully funded by the government with relevant government departments chipping in — the ministry of transport, the National Youth Service and Kenya Defence Forces have given their support to this noble task,” he said. “We will ensure that our borders are secure by preventing illegal immigrants and proliferation of small arms into the country.”
Kihalangwa said the wall would not bar cross-border movement, adding that there would be designated points for exit and entry into the country.