Kenya delays closure of Dadaab refugee camp by six months

Nkaissery said a comprehensive repatriation programme would be rolled out next month at the camp, which is home to hundreds of thousands of mostly Somali refugees.

Kenya delays closure of Dadaab refugee camp by six months

World Bulletin / News Desk

Kenya said on Wednesday it will delay by six months the closure of the Dadaab refugee camp, the world's largest, after calls by the UN and aid groups to postpone it on humanitarian grounds.

Interior minister Joseph Nkaissery said the move follows a request from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to delay the dismantling of the camp, originally planned for this month. It has now been pushed back to May. 

"I wish to announce that the government has accepted the request to extend the deadline for the completion of the repatriation of Somali refugees and the eventual closure of Dadaab refugee complex by six months," he told a news conference.

"The repatriation will continue to be carried out in a humane, safe and dignified manner," he said.

The government announced in May that the vast Dadaab camp in north-east Kenya would be shut down, citing security concerns.

Since sending troops into neighbouring Somalia in 2011, Kenya has come under repeated attack from Shabaab, East Africa's long-time branch of Al-Qaeda.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Kasım 2016, 15:52