Kenya to close Somali refugee camp by November

Kenya to close Somali refugee camp by NovemberKenya reaffirmed its plan to close the world's largest refugee camp by November, rejecting allegations by Human Rights Watch (HRW) that it is harassing and intimidating Somali refugees to return home when it is not safe to do so, Thomson Reuters Foundation reported on Thursday.

The rights group has accused Kenya in not giving a real choice for refugees between being repatriated or staying. HRW also claimed that the United Nation's refugee agency, UNHCR, is not giving refugees accurate information about the risks they face in Somalia.

"Our timeline is November 30th for closure of the camp," Karanja Kibicho, principal secretary for Kenya's interior ministry, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"We are trying to restore sanity in matters of refugee affairs. We are a sovereign country that is trying to address a security concern and we are as humane as possible."

A spokesman for UNHCR in Kenya said the agency would have to study HRW's report before responding.

Dadaab camp is a home for more than 300,000 mostly Somali refugees. In May it was announced that Kenya would close the camp by November. It was preceded by deadly attacks on Kenyan soil by Somali Islamist group al Shabaab.

The government says al Shabaab has used the camp as a recruiting ground for its attacks.
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