Nkaissery orders review of list of refugees at Dadaab

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery. (Photo: David Njaaga/Standard)

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery has ordered a review of the list of refugees in Daadab camp to weed out fraud.

This follows the discovery of double registered refugees at the camp.

“The double registered cases comprise refugees who have irregularly registered as Kenyans on one hand, and on the other, Kenyans who have registered as refugees,” Nkaissery said in a statement.

He said double registration is an offence under the Registration of Persons Act, the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act and the Refugee Act 2006.

The process will start on Monday December 19 and end on December 31, 2016.

The CS said that by clearing such individuals from the register, the Daadab Refugee Camp will be left with bona fide refugees thus deserving the refugee status.

He said the process will also smoothen the ongoing repatriation of refugees to Somalia in a bid by the Kenyan government to close the refugee camp.

Those living outside the camp, should report at the nearest Deputy Commissioner's office while those at the camp should report to the office of the Deputy County Commissioner at the camp.

"All the affected persons who will not have presented themselves to the designated offices at the expiry of the deadline on December 31 will be arrested and prosecuted as provided for by the law," he add

In November 2016, the government extended the process by six months to allow a series of activities including clearing the double registered persons from the refugees list.

Nkaissery said the move followed a request by the UNHCR commissioner of refugees Filipo Grandi to extend the time for repatriation and closure of the camp.

He said the volatile security situation in Somalia and ongoing elections had made it difficult for Kenya and other partners to meet the deadline. Kenya announced in June it planned to close the camp by end of November 2016.

"The government has accepted the request to extend the deadline for completion of repatriation of Somali refugees and eventual closure of Dadaab Refugee complex by six months," said Nkaissery.

Nkaissery revealed 262,000 refugees are still at the camp and so far 16,000 have been repatriated in the last six months.

He denied reports by agencies including Amnesty International that refugees are being forced back to Somalia. 

In January, all non-Somali refugees will be relocated from Dadaab to other UNHCR camps while in the third month of the period they will complete the relocation of Somali refugees to third countries.

In the fourth and fifth month the team plans to complete the repatriation of Somali refugees from Dadaab before the government starts the process of environmental rehabilitation programme in the area, said Nkaissery.

The CS said the decision to fast-track repatriation of refugees is anchored in an evolving understanding by virtually all regional and international bodies that Kenya faces a serious security threat.

The camps have become hosting grounds for Al Shabaab as well as centres of smuggling and contraband trade besides being enablers of illicit weapons proliferation, he said.

Nkaissery said in June large-scale terror attacks such as the Westgate Shopping Mall attack, Garissa University one, the Lamu attack were planned and deployed from Dadaab Refugee Camp by transnational terrorist groups.