Numbering five in total and opened 25 years ago at the onset of the Somali civil war, they are the world’s biggest refugee camps, hosting some 330,000 refugees from the neighbouring country.
They have over the years been infiltrated and become hideouts of the Al Shabaab terrorist group, which exploits the camps to plan and carry out attacks against Kenyan institutions, installations, and civilians.
The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU) has reported that only US105 million of the US500 million that countries pledged at the October 2015 Brussels pledging conference on Somalia to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of refugees in Kenya has been redeemed.
“Council renews its call for donors to redeem the remaining gap of US395 million,” a spokesperson said.
The AU council deplored that the Dadaab refugee camps had been deprived of their humanitarian character and function by the Al Shabaab terrorist group.
It has agreed with the findings of its Comprehensive Technical Assessment Mission, which aligned with the conclusions reached by Kenya that the Dadaab refugee camps constituted a serious threat to the security of Kenya.
“Council reiterates that no refugee camp should assume a permanent existence. In this respect, council urgently calls for practical measures to accelerate the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees in safety and dignity, to the liberated areas and safe locations inside Somalia.”