Statement by the Spokespersons of the HR/VP Mogherini, Commissioner Mimica and Commissioner Stylianides on the Kenyan Government's decision to close the Dadaab refugee camp
The European Union values Kenya's long history of hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees, providing protection to those fleeing persecution, conflicts and other forms of life-threatening insecurity. It is important for the Government of Kenya to maintain its global leadership in this regard.
Against this background, the announcement by the Government of Kenya to close the Dadaab refugee camps and to disband its Department of Refugee Affairs is a matter of concern.
The willingness of the Government of Kenya to engage in dialogue with its international partners on the challenges stemming from this decision should be acted upon within the framework of the Tripartite Agreement between Kenya, Somalia and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and work should be led towards the creation of conditions in Somalia permitting safe, voluntary and dignified returns of refugees.
In support of this effort, the European Commission has mobilised over €120 million in humanitarian assistance for refugee camps in Kenya over the last 10 years, which has also helped to support the Kenyan host communities. At the end of 2015, the EU's Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa committed an additional €50 million to support the return and reintegration of Somali Refugees from Kenya.
The European Union remains committed to work with the Governments of Kenya, Somalia, as well as regional organisations and the wider international community to help find solutions for the protracted refugee situation.