BERLIN – The United Nations' refugee agency is asking Kenya to reconsider its demand that it close a vast camp for Somali refugees within three months and send the inhabitants home.
Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto made the demand Saturday. The government says the Dadaab camp has become a recruitment center for extremist group al-Shabab, whose gunmen on April 2 killed 148 people at Kenya's Garissa College University.
U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees spokeswoman Karin de Gruijl said in Geneva Tuesday the agency is concerned that abruptly closing Dadaab and forcing hundreds of thousands of refugees back to Somalia "would have extreme humanitarian and practical consequences."
She urged Nairobi to "give the matter further consideration" and said UNHCR is ready to intensify work with Kenya to strengthen law enforcement at Dadaab.