NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 8 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on meeting the UN Chief Antonio Guterres on Wednesday, once again made the case for the closure of the Dadaab refugee camp, exactly a month after the High Court declared such closure illegal.
President Kenyatta insisted that the closure is not only good for Kenya in the fight against terror but for the Somali refugees who he said need to replant their roots back home in the interest of rebuilding their nation and restoring their dignity.
“Secretary General you’ll also visit Dadaab, home to an estimated 400,000 refugees. Our policy has been clear for some time, the events that led to the establishment of Dadaab are terribly tragic and the best response to that tragedy is to help refugees to return and rebuild their nation and that is Kenya’s policy and our efforts to hasten the repatriation and resettlement of refugees.”
All of which, he said, would be done with the confines of the law. “These efforts shall remain guided by relevant domestic and international laws.”
As part of those efforts, President Kenyatta said, Nairobi would on March 25, host an Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Intergovernmental Development Authority.
Guterres on his part, called on the international community to invest in Somalia’s institutions and the African Union Mission in Somalia’s efforts to enforce peace.
“I came from Somalia yesterday… I think we need also to look into Somalia as a land in which there is an opportunity with the new leadership which was elected, with the improved security situation in the country even if a lot of challenges still remain. This is the moment for the international community to massively invest in Somalia.”
He also made a call for the international community to rally around both Kenya and Somalia in the face of drought.
Last month, the High Court declared the government push for the closure of Dadaab illegal on the grounds that it violates the principle on non-refoulement.