The Kenyan government has announced its plan to close its refugee camps, which are home to 600,000 refugees, mostly from conflict-torn Somalia. A U.S.-based Christian group working in Kenya warns that the decision could lead to thousands of deaths “if the world doesn’t respond immediately.”
“It was with great surprise and concern that we learned of Kenya’s decision to close its refugee camps, and in turn, to provide an unsure future to over 600,000 refugees, many of which are from war torn countries, like Somalia,” said Vernon Brewer, founding president of the Virginia-based World Help group, said in a statement.
Kenya’s Interior Ministry has said the refugees living in camps in Dadaab in the east of the country and Kakuma in the northwest will be repatriated to their countries of origin or to third-party countries for resettlement between November and next May.
“People who already live on the edge of death will most certainly die if the world doesn’t respond immediately to this pending crisis,” said Brewer, whose humanitarian organization serves the physical and spiritual needs of people in impoverished communities around the world.
“I know first hand the suffering of these desperate people,” he added. “I have sat with them in their tents, I have wept with widows and children whose husbands and fathers have died in conflicts they didn’t choose, and I’ve looked in the weary eyes of future generations whose opportunity and whose hope have been confined hopelessly to a tent in the middle of the desert.”
Read more at Kenya Plans to Shut Down Refugee Camps.