Kenya asks UN to relocate Somali refugee camps

Kenya said it has asked the UN refugee agency to repatriate hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees by July in the wake of the Garissa University massacre.
“We have asked the UNHCR to relocate the refugees in three months” or “we shall relocate them ourselves”, a government statement quoted Vice President William Ruto as saying in a speech Saturday.
The UNHCR said on Sunday it had not received the Kenyan request but added that refugees cannot be forcibly repatriated.
Shebab insurgents from Somalia claimed responsibility for the April 2 attack on the university in the east of the country which left nearly 150 people dead.
Garissa is around 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the sprawling Dadaab refugee camp near the border with Somalia.
UNHCR spokesman Emmanuel Nyabera told AFP in Nairobi: “We have not received any formal communication or formal request from the Kenyan government along this line.”
“Kenya has an international obligation to protect the refugees and that includes no forceful repatriation to the country of origin.”
Somali refugees in Kenya number around 450,000, most of them at Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp, the UNHCR said.

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