Kenya has responded to an attack by Somalia's al-Shabab fighters that killed 148 people with an ultimatum to the United Nations.

It is calling on the UN to close its sprawling Dadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya and relocate 500,000 refugees to Somalia.

Kenya accuses al-Shabab fighters of hiding in the camp and using it as a base for attacks, such as the assault on Garissa University College earlier this month.

Deputy President William Ruto says the UN has three months to make alternative arrangements - or Kenya would "relocate them ourselves".

In a statement from his office, Ruto also said: "The way America changed after 9/11 is the way Kenya will change after Garissa".

And he added: "We must secure this country at whatever cost".

The UN's refugee agency, UNHCR, responded by saying: "Kenya has an international obligation to protect the refugees and that includes no forceful repatriation to the country of origin".

So is Kenya's stance a justified security response – or collective punishment?

 

Presenter: Folly Bah Thibault

Guests:

Macharia Munene - author and professor of History and International Relations at the United States International University in Nairobi

Afyare Elmi - Somali affairs analyst and professor of International Affairs at Qatar University

Gerry Simpson - senior researcher and advocate of the refugee programme for Human Rights Watch

Source: Al Jazeera