The discourse on the refugee crisis in the country is snowballing into multi-faceted one.
After pressure groups weighed into the emotive issue, the National Council of NGOs has also called on the government to execute the repatriation of refugees under the laid down procedures.
The National Council of NGOs CEO Jared Onyari says the government should embrace voluntary repatriation of refugees instead of sticking hard-line stands to close the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps.
The NGOs council has also dismissed insecurity as a scapegoat in the refugee crisis saying closure of the two camps that house close 600 thousand refugees is not guarantee that Kenya will be secure.
The NGOs are also concerned that the government could subject Somali refugees to more suffering since Somalia is not stable for mass repatriation.
Elsewhere, Political leaders in Garissa County which hosts the biggest refugee camp in the world have differed openly on government’s decision to repatriate Somali refugees on security grounds.
Speaking during a funds drive in aid of Madrasa Manner in Garissa town, Garissa Senator Yussuf Haji opposed the government’s move to repatriate more than 330,000 refugees living in Dadaab. Haji said that Somalia is still volatile and that Al-Shabaab could easily lure returnees into terror activities.
But Ijara Member of Parliament Ahmed Ibrahim reiterated the government’s stand that the camps have been infiltrated by Al-shabaab militia who mastermind attacks in the country.
However, the Dadaab Member of parliament Mohamed Dahiye says although it’s not logic for refugees to spend their lifetime in the camps, the government should be humane when carrying out the repatriation process. He argued that it’s not possible to send back so many refugees within six months.
Last week, the government announced it had set aside nearly 1 billion shillings to execute the closure and repatriation of refugees in Dadaab refugee camp.
The government insists that the financial burden of hosting the refugees is fast becoming unbearable besides the security and environmental challenges accrued to it.