NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 9 – The Government of Kenya says it will “strongly” appeal the High Court ruling declaring plans to close the Dadaab Refugee Camp an illegality.
Responding to the ruling made on Thursday, Government Spokesman Eric Kiraithe said the decision to close the camp was taken in the interest of national security which still remains a concern.
“You will be reminded that the key reason for the closure of the camp was that it had become the launch pad for various terrorist attacks by Al Shabaab.”
“For us as a Government, Kenya will always come first. The lives of Kenyans matter. Our interest in this case, and in the closure of Dadaab refugee camp, remains to protect the lives of Kenyans. It is for this reason that we shall be strongly appealing the decision by the High Court.”
Kiraithe also seeks to make the point that the repatriation is voluntary and has the blessing of both the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Federal Republic of Somalia.
He goes onto give the recently concluded Presidential elections as an illustration of Somalia’s increasing stability.
“We are encouraged that Somalia continues to stabilise politically more so with the election of a new President (Abdullahi Farmajo).”
A stability Judge John Mativo found that the Government of Kenya had failed to demonstrate in its challenge to the petition filed by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and Kituo cha Sheria.
He also found that the Government of Kenya had failed to prove what threat Somali refugees pose to national security. “Not a single arrest or conviction was presented before me.”