Two refugee camps opened in 2011 for hunger victims in Somalia were shut on Friday to reduce terrorist activities in the region.
According to the principal secretary of immigration, Gordon Kihalangwa, this is part of efforts to close Dadaab camp where it is feared that terrorists plan attacks.
“The proximity of Dadaab to Somalia has made the camp a refuge for al-Shabaab. Certain insecurity activities take place in the camp and we have began voluntary repatriation that will eventually see the camp close,” Kihalangwa told VOA
On Friday, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR turned over two empty refugee camps, Kambios and Ifo II, to Kenyan control. The government said these are steps towards closing the Dadaab camp.
The refugees living in these camps were taken to Somalia as others were resettled in Ifo, Hagardera and Dagahley.
The announcement to close Dadaab camp was done in May 2016 and the government has not accepted new refugees since.
According to Magatte Guisse of UNHCR in Dadaab, there are many undocumented refugees in the camp making it easier for al-Shabaab militants to dwell there.
Statistics by the U.N. refugee agency show that the camp hosts over 200,000 refugees with the majority coming from Somalia.
Attacks which have been allegedly conducted by Al-Shabaab militants have terrorized Kenya from as early as 2012.