Closure of the World’s Biggest Refugee Camp delayed by 6 Months

World - Mohit Shah - Nov 18,2016

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closure of the worlds biggest refugee camp delayed by 6 months

The closing of Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya has been postponed by six months due to an appeal filed by the United Nations.

Kenya’s Dadaab complex is managed by UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) and is home to more than 350,000 refugees, making it the biggest refugee camp in the world.

At the start of this year, Kenyan authorities had planned to close this camp-city by the end of November; mainly due to security concerns. In 2015, the Interior Cabinet Secretary, Joseph Nkaissery said that, Dadaab complex is surely on the radar of terrorist organizations. The Al-Shabaab terrorists’ attack on April 2, 2015 targeting Garissa University College was one of the prime reasons for this threat.

The camp is active since more than two decades and houses the world’s most sensitive population. Installation of a similar settlement for such a large crowd is a key problem which has disturbed various rights groups including the United Nations. On Wednesday, Kenyan official Nkaissery declared that, “the government has accepted the request to extend the deadline for completion of repatriation of Somali refugees and eventual closure of Dadaab Refugee complex by six months." He explained that, this decision was made after the strong opinion placed by UNHCR Commissioner, Filipo Grandi.

Couple of days back, a report was released by Amnesty International which accused the Kenyan government for forcefully asking the residents of Dadaab to depart for Somalia. Nkaissery denied this news and assured that, the repatriation program will operate without any hindrance, making sure the refugees are not sent to Somalia.

The extension has relieved the tension of the refugees who will now get time to reallocate with the help of different human rights groups that are active in this region.