NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 20 – During his recently concluded trip to Belgium President Uhuru Kenyatta sat down with Kenyan reporters to field questions on the questions of the day including why Kenya has taken the decision to close the Dadaab camp, his role as Jubilee party leader and as Head of State in ensuring that Kenya does not slide down the same slippery slope it did in 2008 and why he didn’t take the decision by Uganda to construct its oil pipeline through Tanzania and not Kenya, personally.
You met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on your trip to Belgium what was the outcome of your talks on the closure of Dadaab?
Kenya has been, with good reason, subject to so much international scrutiny on matters refugee. First, I think it is important for us to know that we already have a tripartite agreement to govern the repatriation of refugees; that is already in place, as much as it is about to expire. Kenya is just demanding that this tripartite must be executed within a clear time frame and timeline so that the people who have been refugees can actually be integrated back into their local communities in Somalia and to be able to continue with their lives and to have hope, dignity that cannot be given to them in a refugee camp.
We have agreed that we all have to work together to find a process of how we can establish the return of these people to their homes in a dignified and humane way. And we shall continue to work together with the EU, our international development partners, the Somali government and the regional governments to ensure that this is done in the shortest possible time, so that our key focus with our Somali brothers and sisters can be, on developing peace, stability and prosperity for our common people in a secure environment, which we need to provide.
What we are trying to explain as Kenya is that Kenya is not shying away from her international obligations. Kenya recognises her role in welcoming those who are running away from problems. And we shall continue to respect that position. But what Kenya is saying especially in regard to the Dadaab camp issue is that we now have over 23 years been hosting these people. These are people who have had an opportunity through UNHCR and other international organisations to have been given an education. They’ve been born and grown up in these camps. But these are people who now have matured, who have no hope, who have nowhere to go who