Kenya restricts refugee freedoms

Nairobi, Kenya - After enduring months of grenade and other explosive device attacks, Kenya has announced new, more stringent controls aimed primarily at Somali refugees inside its borders.

Kenya's Department of Refugee Affairs announced this week that all refugees and asylum seekers from Somalia must return to the refugee camp complex known as Dadaab. Hosting so many refugees, the statement said, brings many challenges, including “rampant insecurity” in refugee camps and urban areas.

File image - Donkeys try to get water from a container in front of a home at a refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya. Dadaab, a camp designed for 90 000 people now houses around 440 000 refugees. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam). Credit: AP

The United Nations refugee agency said that it is in consultations with the government to preserve refugees' rights. Emmanuel Nyabera, a UNHCR spokesman, said UNCHR and government representatives met Friday and will meet again Monday.

Kenya sent military forces into Somalia in late 2011. Since then, the country has suffered a series of small-scale attacks blamed on Somali militant sympathizers. - Sapa-AP