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Parliament summons CS Amina Mohammed,Joseph Nkaissery over Dadaab closure

By Alphonce Shiundu | May 18th 2016

Two Cabinet secretaries have been summoned to explain why the Government wants to expatriate refugees at Dadaab camp to Somalia.

The Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights asked the House committee on Defence and Foreign Relations to grill Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery will also face the committee on delegated legislation over the gazette notices he has made in prescribing the handling of refugees.

Chairpersons of the committees wrote to the two CSs asking them to appear before them next week. Nkaissery and Amina sit in the powerful National Security Council, which makes policy decisions on all national security threats.

Addressing the Press yesterday at Parliament buildings, MPs drawn from both sides of the political divide slammed the Government's decision to close down Daadab refugee camp. They argued the blanket condemnation of all refugees for Kenya's security problem was wrong.

"They say they are closing it because it poses a security threat, yet we have not seen anyone who has been convicted or charged in court from the camps," said Shukran Gure (Garissa).

 MPs Rachel Ameso (Kakamega), Agostinho Neto (Ndhiwa), Jared Opiyo (Awendo), Alice Chae (Nyamira) and John Waiganjo (Ol Jorok) vowed to do 'whatever it takes' to ensure the refugees who don't want to go back to Somalia stay in Daadab until they are ready for voluntary repatriation.

"If you force these refugees to go back to Somalia where Al Shabaab is still active, they will be conscripted into the militant group and come back to attack us and they will come back to attack us," said Gure.

The MPs argued that some of the refugees had intermarried with the local population and on that basis alone, they qualified to be Kenyan citizens. They said some of the refugees had Kenyan national identity cards.
"Who will you be taking to Somalia, the wife, the children?" posed Neto

The MPs want Nkaissery probed, arguing he has no powers to disband the Department of Refugee Affairs and also that he needs the authority of Parliament to legitimise his gazette notices concerning the refugees.
They want Amina to explain what she had done to make sure donors helped Kenya to handle the refugee burden in Daadab.

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