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Kenya: Involuntary Refugee Returns to Somalia

Camp Closure Threat Triggers Thousands Returning to Danger

Thursday 15 September 2016

(Nairobi, September 15, 2016) – Kenya’s repatriation program for Somali refugees, fueled by fear and misinformation, does not meet international standards for voluntary refugee return, Human Rights Watch said today. Many refugees living in Kenya’s sprawling Dadaab camp, home to at least 263,000 Somalis, say they have agreed to return home because they fear Kenya will force them out if they stay.

In May 2016, the Kenyan government announced plans to speed up the repatriation of Somali refugees and close the Dadaab camp in northeastern Kenya by November. Kenyan authorities, with officials from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), then stepped up a 2013 “voluntary” repatriation program.

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