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Ministers differ over refugee camps

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Denzel Musumba

Denzel Musumba

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Ministers George Saitoti and Otieno Kajwang’ are on a collision course over the expansion of refugee camps.According to Prof Saitoti, the Internal Security minister, Kenya is not keen to expand the camps as they are likely to be infiltrated by Somali terror group al Shabaab.The militants could take advantage of the worsening humanitarian crisis to execute terror attacks in Kenya, he said.“We have security concerns that al Shabaab could be coming into our country under the guise of refugees,” said Prof Saitoti in a statement.The government has balked at opening the Ifo II refugee camp even as an estimated 1,300 famine-stricken Somalis are moving to the Dadaab refugee camp on a daily basis.But Mr Kajwang’, the Immigration minister, says he is embarrassed by the government’s decision.He told the BBC that Kenya should reciprocate the United Nations provision of a grant of tens of thousands of dollars for the camp by opening new ones.The minister blamed the failure to open Ifo ll camp on security chiefs and officials in President Kibaki’s office.“The problem is that our provincial administration (officials based in Mr Kibaki’s office) and our security officers look at the huge influx as a threat to national security,” he said.“On the other hand, we see it as a crisis that must be managed. It is our responsibility under international law and our own law,” he added... Visit www.eastafricaradiousa.com

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