Kenyan court’s ruling to block the government’s decision to close the world’s largest refugee camp has elicited mixed reactions from the refugees, with some commending the move while others showed displeasure.
Mohamud Haji Ahmed who spoke to Goobjoog said it is positive step for the lives of the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have been stuck in limbo since the official announcement about the camp closure was made in last year.
“It’s a big relief for many of us who had no idea where we would be taken to, I hope the government would comply with the court ruling,” said Ahmed.
Ahmed underscored that the decision by the came a time when many refugees are willing return home following the victory of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo whom they wish would bring change to Somalia’s situation.
Mohamed Abdi Hassan, who has lived in Dadaab over twenty years said majority too scared to return home to a nation plagued by war, famine, chaos, poverty and disease.
Hassan noted that many people had been repatriated back to Somalia before the verdict.
Many of the refugees returned before the court’s decision and now many of us wish to go back to Somalia because of changes happened in Somalia following farmajo’s victory,” said Hassan.
Another refugee in Dadaab camp, Fatuma Mohamed Ali says the court’s came too late because thousands had been repatriated.
“We packed our belongings; we are willing to return voluntarily. We want to take part the rebuilding of our country,” said Ali.
A Kenyan judge ruled on 8th February that the Kenyan government’s contentious plan to close Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp, was “illegal” and “discriminatory,” and that the refugees could not be forcefully relocated.
A move many of rights groups hailed.
Kenya announced last year its intention to shut the camp, which has grown into a sprawling complex since it was built in 1991 at the outbreak of civil war in neighboring Somalia.