Monday, November 11, 2013

Somali Refugees to be sent back

More than 500,000 Somali refugees living in Kenya are to be deported returned their home country. Two of the camps they live in, Dadaab and Kakuma, are now so large they are more like towns. There is also a suburb of Nairobi - Eastleigh - that is known as "mini Somalia" because so many Somalis live there. Many of them were born in camps and have never set foot inside their home country. The BBC says the main problem with the agreement is that most of the refugees know that Somalia is still not safe and probably would not want to return. 

Although the Kenyan government and the UNHCR have signed up to the agreement they are not acting entirely altruistically. Since the attack on the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi in September, the Kenyan government fears that the Somali community poses an even greater security threat and is shielding potential perpetrators of similar atrocities. Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto says refugees have become a shield for those who pose a security threat to Kenya. The UN in turn has had to scale down rations in the Dadaab refugee camp because of a lack of resources.

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