The Kenyan government has ordered the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to close the Dadaab refugee camp. It has not stated its reasons for this, but in the past it ordered similar closures on security grounds, claiming Dadaab could host terrorists from the Somali militant group Al-Shabaab.
The camp, established almost 30 years ago, hosts about half of Kenya’s refugees – 230,000 of almost 500,000. The majority are Somali refugees who fled their country’s civil war in the 1990s, or came during the famine in 2011. Other refugees come from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.
On announcing the closure of the camp, the government said that the refugees would be relocated. For most this means being moved to other camps, but for some this means repatriation: being sent back to their countries of origin.