Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Channel Refugees Funds to Somalia, Ruto to UN
By People Daily
May 24, 2016

Deputy President William Ruto with Somali President Hassan Mohamoud. PHOTO: DPPS
DPPS @PeopleDailyKe

Kenya’s decision to close the Dadaab Refugee Camp will not be reversed, Deputy President William Ruto has told an international summit attended by the United Nations (UN) Secretary general Ban Ki-moon.

In what could be Kenya’s strongest message to the UN on the thorny issue, Ruto told the international community to channel any finances meant for refugees aid to Somalia where it would be needed for their resettling.

Ruto told the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, attended by Ban and other world leaders that the camp had become a burden to Kenya.

“The camp has been a security threat, a haven for terrorism and conduit of contraband goods as well as a danger to the environment,” the DP said in the summit also addressed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Kenya has been faithful to her international obligations of humanitarian assistance but no country can shoulder humanitarian responsibilities at the expense of the security of her people and the refugees themselves,” he said.

Ruto, who was accompanied by Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Monica Juma said the country’s contribution and commitment to humanitarianism is beyond question.

Ruto conveyed the same message to Ban and Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud who he met at the sidelines of the summit.

“We have been steadfast and unparalleled despite the huge cost to the country in monetary, security, environmental and ecological spheres,” he said adding that Kenya attended the conference to discuss the repatriation of the refugees.

“We are looking forward to discussions on how best to fast-track the repatriation of refugees so that they can go back and contribute to the rebuilding of their country.”

The planning, coordination and the execution of the terrorist attack on Westgate Shopping Mall, the Garissa university terror attack and the Lamu attack in which more than 250 Kenyans lost their lives, were all traced to the refugee camp, he said.

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