Wednesday, 29 April 2015

"Moving Dadaab Refugee Camp back to Somalia must go hand in hand with allocating more resources to Northern Kenya for it to succeed", says the Bishop of Garissa

            "Now that there is a government in Somalia, it is good if the camp is closed and the people are allowed to return back home", said His Exc. Mgr. Paul Darmanin, Bishop of Garissa, commenting on the announcement, by the Government of Kenya, of the upcoming closure of the camps of Somali refugees in Dadaab.
            The Diocese of Darissa, whose jurisdiction covers Dadaab, is still shaken by April 2 2015 terror attack on Garissa University College that left 148 people dead. Among the measures taken by the government in Nairobi after the massacre, is the closure within three months of the five camps in Dadaab, opened in 1991 to accommodate 90,000 people and has now become the largest refugee camp in the world, where today there are about 400,000 Somalis who fled the civil war that disrupts their Country.
            According to the government of Nairobi the structure contributes to insecurity in Kenya because inside there are hidden supporters of Shabaab. "The nature of our society is to protect family and friend. The people in the camps cannot report dangerous criminals among them because they are family. While the closure of the camp may not end terror attacks, it will see a reduction in the channels for recruitments and planning of attacks", said the Bishop to Kenyan Waumini Agency.
            For Mgr. Darmanin, the security situation in Somalia, although "not very good", would allow a return of refugees because the recent attacks of the Shabaab on Somali territory have targeted "government officials and institutions and not civilians", so, said the Bishop of Garissa, "it is better if these people return home and get assistance from there".
Mgr. Darmanin concludes with an appeal to the Kenyan government to bring development to the region of Garissa, inhabited by poor Somalis to the point that many of them have passed themselves off as refugees in order to be able to obtain assistance from organizations that assist the Dadaab camps. "Many Kenyan Somalis have registered in the refugee camp and go there regularly to get food rations and other disbursements, this is dangerous", concluded the Bishop. (Agenzia Fides)

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