Kenya pledges to support refugees

September 10, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 10 – Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has assured that Kenya will continue to honour her obligations in hosting refugees from countries facing turmoil in the region.

Mr Musyoka said despite the many challenges that accompany such responsibility, including the issue of insecurity, the government is ready to work closely with relevant international agencies to address refugee problem while at the same time taking into consideration the best national interest.

“Kenya has continued to host many refugees from trouble spots such as the Great Lakes Region, the Sudan and currently Somalia. We need to review the conditions of these camps including security implication of hosting these people,” the VP noted.

He expressed hope that when all the necessary processes are concluded for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees(UNHCR)and the government, a more comprehensive and efficient method of admitting refugees into the country would be agreed upon and adopted.

The Vice President made the remarks in his Jogoo House Office when he held talks with the visiting United Nations High Commissioner for refugees, Antonio Gutteres who paid him a courtesy call.

Mr Gutteres is in the country to asses the refugee situation following continued influx of refugees, particularly from Somalia where fighting is still going on.

According to the Department of Immigration, over 5,000 refugees enter into Kenya from Somalia every month thus straining that holding capacity of Daadab refugee camp situated along the common boarder.

The Vice President thanked UNHCR and other international humanitarian agencies for assisting Kenya cope with the huge number of refugees.

He was optimistic that a lasting solution to the Somali problem would soon be found so that  the diplaced persons could return to their country just as some of those who were in Kakuma camp returned to Sudan after the end of the war.

Mr Gutteres said the agency is currently holding discussion with the Kenyan government and local communities to invest on land where refugees could be relocated from the congested Daadab camp.

He at the same time said plans were underway to have a proper identification, screening and registration system of refugees in order to determine their numbers and exactly where they are staying.

The Commissioner thanked the Kenya Government for supporting the agency in their work, noting that through such collaboration many fruitful discussion have been held resulting into successful implementation of several programmes.

Mr Gutteres assured that UNHCR will continue to partner with Kenya, particularly in the identification of refugees and asylum seekers as well as in the strengthening of security in and around refugee camp.

The commissioner was accompanied  by UNHCR Country representative Ms, Liz Ahua among other agency officials.


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