Kenya to stop hosting Somali refugees – govt

Refugees from Somalia will no longer be accepted in Kenya, the government said Friday citing security fears.
“The Government of the Republic of Kenya, having taken into consideration its national security interests, has decided that hosting of refugees has to come to an end,” said a statement signed by interior ministry official Karanja Kibicho.
Under the directive, newly-arrived asylum seekers will not automatically receive refugee status, and the government will step up efforts to have those already living in the country removed.
Kenya hosts around 550 000 refugees in two camps at Kakuma and Dadaab, the world’s largest, many of whom have fled decades of war in neighbouring Somalia.
“The message is clear, we are closing the camps and we will not accept more refugees in the country,” said Mwenda Njoka, interior ministry spokesperson.
Njoka added that the new regulations were aimed at refugees from Somalia, but those from other countries may also be affected. “The problematic ones are the Somalis. They’re the ones we’re starting with,” he said.
In 2013 the governments of Kenya and Somalia together with the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) signed a so-called tripartite agreement aimed at encouraging Somali refugees to return home voluntarily.

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