Somali refugees ought to leave Dadaab camps, says MP

Tetu MP Ndung’u Gethenji has backed the government’s move to close down refugee camps.

The MP said it has been costly running Kakuma and Dadaab camps, and so it is better for refugees to return to their countries. Gethenji, who is also the Parliamentary Defence Committee chairman, said it is necessary for the refugees to return to Somalia to cut Kenya’s costs and improve security.

The MP said many lives have been lost through terror attacks, which are allegedly planned in the refugee camps.

“This country has invested heavily in restoring peace in countries like Somalia in form of military. The refugees should return to their country as it continues to stabilise. The cost of managing these camps is not manageable. The budget cannot be supported any more,” Gethenji said.

The MP, who was with Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, spoke in Aguthi Catholic church in Tetu on Sunday. “Kenya has hosted the refugees for more than 25 years, and at one time, hosting about one million of them. Nobody should accuse us now since the camps have been used as planning grounds for criminal activities, including the 2013 Westgate mall attack,” he said.

Interior PS Karanja Kibicho has said the more than 500,000 refugees in Kakuma and Dadaab camps will have to go back to their countries, mainly Somalia and South Sudan.