3rd February 2023
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UN proposes resettlement of Kakuma, Dadaab refugees in third countries

Author: Yar Ajak | Published: Friday, April 9, 2021

Kakuma Refugee Camp | File picture

The UN Refugee Agency in Kenya says it could resettle refugees unable to go back to their homes to third countries.

This comes after the government of Kenya last month called for the closure of the country’s biggest refugee camps.

Kakuma and Dadaab camps are homes to 430,000 refugees and asylum-seekers of more than 15 nationalities.

Among them are South Sudanese with a population of over 120,000.

On the 23 of March, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary of interior affairs, Dr. Fred Matiangi gave the UN Refugee Agency two weeks for the camp to be closed.

The deadline elapsed on Wednesday.

Court halts closure

Kenya’s high court has however temporarily blocked the closure of the two refugee camps, calling it unconstitutional.

On Thursday, the court stayed the closure for 30 days, according to a copy of the court seen by news organizations.

In response, UNHCR shared with the Kenyan government four proposals, including enhancement of voluntary repatriation of refugees into their various countries considering safety measures during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Other proposals include an alternative stay to refugees within east Africa, “as this will make them become contributors to the economy and more self-reliant.”

The refugee agency further vowed to speed up the issuing of national identifications to over 11,000 Kenyans who have been registered under the refugee database and are yet to get their cards.

It also proposed “resettlement to third countries for a small number of refugees who are not able to return home and face protection risks.”

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