Dadaab camp refugees offered cash to return to Somalia

About 300,000 Somalis in Kenya face being homeless as camp is set to close by November.

by

    For the first time in 24 years, Jama Addaawe is leaving the Dadaab refugee camp, located near the Kenya-Somalia border.

    He is part of a group of refugees who opted to return to Somalia after the Kenyan government told them the world's largest camp would close by November this year.

    "We have no reason to stay here," Addawe told Al Jazeera.

    "Kenya says we are unwanted guests. We have to go back home."

    Approximately 300,000 refugees call Dadaab home.

    They are leaving the camp before the deadline. Those willing to return are given some cash to help them settle back home, before being taken across the border by bus.

    'Waste of many years'

    Kenya wants to close the camp over security concerns and claims attacks on its soil have been planned from within the sprawling camp's borders.

    But there are doubts whether security will improve once the refugees leave. The border is porous and people pushed back may return to Kenya.

    Without even basic necessities, there are fears that the shunned refugees could be easier recruits for armed groups in both countries.

    "Our children have received education here," Mohammed Diriye, a refugee, said.

    "They will have nothing else to do but join al-Shabab fighters in Somalia if we return now. It will be a total waste of many years of struggle."

    Over the years, an economy grew in the camp, and was dependent on refugees. It is largely fuelled by remittances sent by friends and family of the refugees from abroad.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.