Kenya MPs To Call For Somali Refugee Camps Closure

Kenyan lawmakers will call for the closure of Somali refugee camps in the country following the deadly siege of the westgate shopping mall in the capital Nairobi.
Smoke rises from the Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi following a string of explosions during the third day of a stand-off between Kenyan security forces and gunmen inside the buildingPicture: REUTERS/Siegfried Modola
Smoke rises from the Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi following a string of explosions during the third day of a stand-off between Kenyan security forces and gunmen. Picture: REUTERS/Siegfried Modola

Ndung’u Gethenji, head of Parliament’s defense committee, said on Monday that Kenya had to reconsider its “hospitality in supporting refugee camps within our borders,” BBC reported.

More than 500,000 Somali refugees currently live in the world largest camp, Dadaab, in Kenya’s North Eastern Province. Some 30,000 Somali refugees also reportedly live in Nairobi.

Gethenji said he had reports that “some of these facilities are being used as a training ground.”

On September 21, some 67 people were killed after Somalia’s al-Shabab fighters stormed the Westgate mall, a shopping center popular with rich Kenyans and foreigners.

Security forces killed five al-Shebab fighters during the four-day siege, arresting nine others in connection with the assault.

According to the senior security sources, the fighters who led the attack hired a shop in the mall in the weeks prior to the siege.

Al-Shabab leader Ahmed Godane said the raid was in retaliation for the Kenyan military’s invasion of southern Somalia in October 2011.

Kenya has more than 4,000 army soldiers in southern Somalia, where they have been battling the al-Shabab fighters since 2011.

The Kenyan troops are part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) that gets training and equipment from the United States.

Somalia has not had an effective central government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

Adapted From Press TV

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