Amnesty International Kenya welcomed the revised timeframe for the closure of Daadab and Kakuma refugee camps.
The government of Kenya on Thursday announced that the camps will be closed by the end of June 2022.
Responding to the announcement, Amnesty Executive Director Irungu Houghton welcomed the move urging the government to identify opportunities for resettling affected refugees.
“Neither permanent refugee camps, rushed camp closures or violating international principles of non-refoulment are solutions. We trust the Government of Kenya and UN High Commissioner for Refugees shall work towards identifying more opportunities for resettlement or voluntarily repatriation of willing refugees in dignified manner, “Houghton said.
He further noted that the organization will offer free work permits (Class M) to the refugees from the East Africa Community as a way to integrate them.
Earlier, Amnesty strongly opposed the proposed closure of Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps on April 6 2021 noting that the closure without an orderly approach invited a humanitarian disaster within the global pandemic.
Amnesty International Kenya said the ultimatum recreated the fear that the principle of non-refoulement may be violated for the 500,000 refugees currently hosted by Kenya.
The agency said here is no evidence of an escalated security risk arising from the camps in April 2021.
The Interior CS Fred Matiang’i on Thursday said that repatriation of refugees to countries of origin and socioeconomic integration of some of them through Work/Residence Permits is among the roadmap that the government will undertake to ensure that the mission is successful.