We are yet to get official communication from Kenya over refugee camps closure, UNHCR

The refugee agency, UNHCR has said it is yet to receive official communication from the government of Kenya regarding the closure of all refugee camps in the East African country.

In response to a query from Goobjoog News, UNHCR Kenya Public Information Unit officer Duke Mwencha said the agency is yet to be seized of the matter by Kenya but noted it was seeking to engage with authorities there over the matter.

“UNHCR is yet to receive official communication from the government of Kenya with regard to the statement. The UNHCR representation in Kenya is seeking to engage the government of Kenya as soon as possible with a view to establishing a full understanding of the contents and implications of the statement,” said Mwencha.

Kenya announced Friday it was shutting down all the refugee camps on grounds of security, economic and environmental sustainability.

It noted there the repatriation process which started in 2014 following the tripartite agreement between Kenya, Somalia and UNHCR and that the matter had been discussed with the UN and the African Union.

It further noted the international community should step in for collective responsibility over the consequences of the action.

But Mwencha said the process is still ongoing and that UNHCR has since December 2014 supported the repatriation of 13,532 Somalis, 7,160 of them having been assisted in 2016.

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