Kenya’s High Court has declared the government’s order to close Dadaab camp unconstitutional noting the Interior Ministry acted beyond its powers in ordering the closure.
In a ruling Thursday, Justice John Mativo said Interior Minister John Nkaisery and Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho violated the constitution by drawing on powers they were not bestowed upon by the country’s constitution.
The Judge ruled the government’s order to close the camp which is largely inhabited by Somalis amounted to state discrimination and violation of basic human rights of a group.
Kenya had mid last year ordered the camp be closed by November in what it considered the protection of the country from security threats posed by the camp. It noted the camp had been infiltrated by elements who planned terror attacks against the country. The Interior Minister noted later it would not close the camp as planned but was waiting for Somalia to be pacified.
Human rights groups however warned the closure of the camp was tantamount to gross violation of human rights and that forced repatriation would subject the refugees into further insecurity inside Somalia.
Judge Mativo directed the Kenyan government to device other mechanisms to ensure the department of refugees adopts more sustainable and humane approaches to the refugee issue.
The judge further directed the state to adopt mechanisms that would ensure the department of refugees is functioning properly. The government last May disbanded the Department of Refugees Affairs.