Kenya ruling "scapegoats" refugees says UNHCR

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A UNHCR camp in Kenya is filled to capacity. UNHCR/E.Hockstein

A ruling by the Kenyan Government restricting refugees into two main camps in the country has been branded as scapegoating by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Over half a million people, mainly from Somalia, are housed in the two camps, Dadaab and Kakuma.

Adrian Edwards from UNHCR, said it was wrong to discriminate against refugees.

"Blanket measures that target people based on nationality or membership of a group is discriminatory. It can create suffering for innocent people and is usually ineffective. We are in close contact with the government of Kenya to see how its security concerns can be addressed in accordance with international legal norms and practices and in a way that is sensitive to the protection needs. Insecurity affects all communities and populations. Scapegoating refugees is no answer."  (31″)

In a statement, the Kenyan Government called on all those who had left the two camps to return.

It added that registration centres in five cities had been closed.

It also urged Kenyans to report to the police sightings of refugees outside the camps.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1'13"

 

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