Kenya plans to close Dadaab refugee camp in months, UN document shows

The Kenyan government plans to close the Dadaab refugee camp in the east of the country by August, according to an internal UN document seen by the AFP news agency.

According to UN refugee agency UNHCR, Nairobi sent a note last month informing it of “plans to close the Dadaab camps within a six-month period”.

The note also asked the UN agency “to expedite relocation of the refugees and asylum-seekers residing therein.”

The Kenyan government has not responded to the content of the document.

An aid worker in Dadaab, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that all international organisations were aware of the plan to shut down the refugee complex but the “government is keeping it low profile”.

Dadaab is home to some 230,000 people, majority of whom are Somalis who fled across the border following the outbreak of civil war in 1991.

Tens of thousands of refugees have returned to Somalia under a repatriation agreement between Kenya, Somalia and UNHCR.