Kakuma and Daadab Refugee Camps to Be Closed By June 2022 As Agreed Between CS Matiang'i and UN Officials
The two camps reportedly host close to 0.5 million refugees and have been operational for three decades now since 1991.
Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Fred Matiang'i and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) head Filippo Grandi on Thursday reached a consensus regarding Kakuma and Daadab refugee centres' closure.
According to the two officers, the two centres should have ceased operation by June 2022. Those affected will either be flown home, or allowed to live in Kenya under free work permits.
"Hosted Commissioner Filippo Grandi today to communicate our roadmap for the closure of Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps by June 30, 2022...," stated CS Matiang'i adding that officials will oversee the entire exercise by May 2022.
Those from East African Community (EAC) nations can continue being in the country under free work permits if they wish. Speaking recently, the UN stated having funded Kenya to a tune of Ksh10 billion annually to host the refugees.
On March 14, 2021, Kenya had issued an ultimatum to the UNHCR to ensure that a closure plan had been devised within a fortnight effective then.
Justifying the closures, Kenya pointed an accusing finger to the two centres over the increased terrorism. Kenya noted that several terrorism plans were being executed there.
Some nations such as the United States have since agreed to adopt some refugees who will be affected by the closure. Initially, UN had given Kenya until December 2022, before the Kenyan authorities insisted that the closure must happen soonest possible.