Africa

Kenya to close Dadaab, world's biggest refugee camp

  • FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011 file photo, refugees walk amongst huts at a refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya. Kenya's interior minister said Wednesday, May 11, 2016 that the government will close Dadaab refugee camp which has hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees and is often referred to as the world's largest refugee camp. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam, File)

    FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011 file photo, refugees walk amongst huts at a refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya. Kenya's interior minister said Wednesday, May 11, 2016 that the government will close Dadaab refugee camp which has hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees and is often referred to as the world's largest refugee camp. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 20, 2012 file photo, parts of Dadaab, the world's largest refugee camp, are seen from a helicopter in northern Kenya. Kenya's interior minister said Wednesday, May 11, 2016 that the government will close Dadaab refugee camp which has hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees and is often referred to as the world's largest refugee camp. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)

    FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 20, 2012 file photo, parts of Dadaab, the world's largest refugee camp, are seen from a helicopter in northern Kenya. Kenya's interior minister said Wednesday, May 11, 2016 that the government will close Dadaab refugee camp which has hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees and is often referred to as the world's largest refugee camp. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sunday, July 10, 2011 file photo, Somali refugees lead their herds of goats home for the night, inside Dagahaley Camp, outside Dadaab, in Kenya. Kenya's interior minister said Wednesday, May 11, 2016 that the government will close Dadaab refugee camp which has hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees and is often referred to as the world's largest refugee camp. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

    FILE - In this Sunday, July 10, 2011 file photo, Somali refugees lead their herds of goats home for the night, inside Dagahaley Camp, outside Dadaab, in Kenya. Kenya's interior minister said Wednesday, May 11, 2016 that the government will close Dadaab refugee camp which has hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees and is often referred to as the world's largest refugee camp. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)  (The Associated Press)

Kenya's interior minister says the government will close Dadaab refugee camp which has hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees and is often referred to as the world's largest refugee camp.

Joseph Nkaissery said Wednesday that Daadab camp compromises Kenya's security because it harbors Somalia's al-Shabab Islamic extremists and is a conduit for smuggling weapons. He said al-Shabab planned three large-scale attacks from Daadab, which hosts more than 328,000 refugees, mainly from Somalia.

Last week the Kenyan government announced it intends to close Daadab and Kakuma, a refugee camp housing 190,000 people, mostly South Sudanese fleeing civil war. But on Wednesday Nkaissery said Kakuma will not be closed because it does not present a security risk.

The U.N. has urged Kenya to reconsider its decision to close Dadaab camp.