Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Kenya orders refugees back to camps

18 December 2012, 12:07

Nairobi - Tens of thousands of refugees living in urban areas in Kenya must return to remote and overcrowded camps, the government said on Tuesday, demanding all aid be cut off outside the camps.

"All asylum seekers and refugees from Somalia should report to Dadaab refugee camps, while asylum seekers from other countries should report to Kakuma refugee camp," an official statement printed in national newspapers read.

The order follows a spate of attacks in Kenya's north-eastern Somali regions as well as in the capital Nairobi, with several blasts in the largely ethnic Somali district of Eastleigh.

The attacks are regularly blamed on members or sympathisers of Somalia's al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab fighters, although they have made no claim to the series of blasts, which escalated after Kenyan troops invaded Somalia last year.

Police have since launched a tough crackdown focusing largely on refugees, including mass arrests sweeping up young men of Somali origin suspected of being connected to the attackers.

The two camps - Dadaab in Kenya's arid northeast, the world's largest refugee camp complex, and Kakuma, in the remote northwest - are already beyond their capacity.

Over 33 600 Somali refugees live in Nairobi alone, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, while Kenya hosts refugees from nine nations in total.

Registration centres

"The government of Kenya has decided to stop reception, registration and close down all registration centres in the urban areas with immediate effect," read the statement from Badu Katelo, acting commissioner for refugee affairs.

"UNHCR and other partners serving refugees are asked to stop providing direct services to asylum seekers and refugees in the urban areas and transfer the same services to the refugee camps," the order added.

Dadaab, around a 100km from the restive border with Somalia, hosts over 468 700 mainly Somali refugees, but is already full to capacity.

Kakuma, around a 100km from the border with South Sudan, hosts over 103,600 refugees, almost half of whom are Somalis, the rest largely being made up of Sudanese or South Sudanese.

UNHCR warned last month that the camp has surpassed its original capacity of 100 000.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...