Canada concerned with Kenya’s decision to close refugee camps

By Department of Foreign Affairs Canada

The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today issued the following statement on the threat of closure of refugee camps in Kenya:

“Canada is very concerned about the Government of Kenya's decision to disband its Department of Refugee Affairs and its intention to close the refugee camp at Dadaab.

“We appreciate the long-standing generosity of Kenya toward asylum seekers and refugees, and urge the Government of Kenya to ensure that protection and the provision of basic humanitarian assistance remain accessible to those who need it.

“Canada continues to call on the Government of Kenya, and all governments, to respect international refugee law and uphold the rights of refugees. All returns must be voluntary and conducted in accordance with domestic and international laws and while respecting the principle of non-refoulement.

“Canada supports the tripartite agreement between Kenya, Somalia and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the repatriation of Somali refugees from Kenya. Canada has provided significant support for refugee operations in Kenya, including more than $13 million to the UNHCR in Kenya and Somalia since 2015. Canada will also continue to support efforts to create the conditions in Somalia that would allow for a lasting solution based on a dignified and voluntary return for refugees.”