Dadaab refugee camp: Somalia diplomat opposes closure

The Kenyan government’s plan to close the Dadaab refugee camp is “logistically impractical”, according to Somalia’s ambassador to the US.
Ahmed Awad sounding a warning on Thursday, saying that shutting the complex – which is home to at least 340 000 people – could damage relations between Kenya and Somalia.
“I think Kenyans and Somalis have developed closeness throughout the years,” Awad said.
“This issue should not undermine the progress that our countries have made together.”
He called on the Kenyan government reconsider its plans to close the complex by November.
“To force 340 000 people to a place where they have nothing, to go back after 25 years of absence, you wipe out all the goodwill that you have gotten from these refugees.”
Dadaab is the world’s largest refugee camp.
“The Kenyan government should respect the call of the international community, the humanitarian community and the sister country of Somalia,” Awad said.
“If you have tolerated 25 years of Dadaab refugee camp, it doesn’t take much with the help of the international community, with cooperation from Somalia, to give a time, as we have already agreed, for a voluntary return of these refugees in a very humane way.”

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