Kenyan, Somali leaders meet on refugee camp closure, talks deadlocked



Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta met with his Somalia counterpart Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on Tuesday over the Dadaab closure.

The two heads of state held talks for over three hours at the State House in Nairobi but failed to agree on the impending closure of the world’s largest refugee camp complex.

The East African country which is home to over 550,000 refugees, is looking to shut down its Dadaab camp which has more than 350,000 displaced people mainly Somalis.

President Mohamud, who is on official visit to Kenya visited the Dadaab refugee camp on Monday. He is the the first-ever sitting Somali leader to visit the complex.

Mohamud has expressed his gratitude for Kenya’s support in accommodating the refugees. However, he wants an action plan in place for when the refugees will be repatriated back home.

The two leaders are set to meet later today for a second round of talks.

Kenya has been adamant about closing the camp that is located in the North Eastern part of the country. Following an attack at a Kenyan university that left at least 147 people dead in 2015, the Kenyan government gave the United Nations months to relocate the refugees.

Officials in the country claim that the camp constructed in the early 1990s is a ‘breeding ground’ for terrorists.

Nonetheless, this move by the government has been met with criticism from various quarters.

Several right groups including Amnesty International are seeking to stop the directive to close the camp. They claim the directive violates international laws.

Since 2012, Kenya has seen a surge in grenade, bombs and armed attacks on its soil. These attacks are mostly masterminded by Somali insurgent group Al Shabaab.