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Kenya has a duty to host refugees – Makuei

Author : | Published: Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Kenyan government has a duty to accommodate refugees as a member of the United Nations, the Minister of Information has said.

Kenyan authorities want to close Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps, which are hosting some 600,000 refugees from South Sudan, Somali and other countries.

They notified the UN High Commissioner for Refugees of the closure last week, saying the camps were being used by terrorist groups from the Somali based Al-Shabab.

The South Sudanese Minister of Information, Michael Makuei Lueth, says it is not the government in Juba to talk about the matter since the two camps host refugees from other countries.

“If they are sending them away, it is not the government of South Sudan that will talk about it because they are not all South Sudanese,” Mr Makuei said.

The camps also host refugees from Somalia, DR Congo, Ethiopia, and Burundi.

“The Kenyan Government is a member of the UN; it is under duty to accommodate them. Maybe they want to relocate them. That is up to them. But to shut it down, it is not us who will talk about it,” he added.

Early this week, some South Sudanese refugees in Kakuma camp told Eye Radio that the camps have suspended reception of new refugees.

Some humanitarian organizations like the UN refugee agency and medical charity MSF have criticized the decision of the Kenyan government.

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