Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed met on Thursday Kenyan Foreign minister Amina Mohamed to discuss on the Kenya’s recent decision towards the Somali refugees staying in urban areas, ordering them to get back to their camps.
Both leaders had a meeting on the sidelines of IGAD summit on Drought Resilience which was held in the Uganda capital, Kampala.
The Kenyan government said the decision was reached due to the ‘’emergency security challenges’’ that the East African nation faced after various attacks carried across the country.
Some of the attacks have been claimed by the Somali Islamist group al-Shabab, including the deadly attack on the Westgate mall last year.
In a Press release from the Somali Premier Office, among other issues discussed also was related to ‘’ mutual concern’’.
‘’The Somali and Kenyan governments will maintain its work towards implementing the tripartite agreement on voluntary repatriation of refugees.” The Somali Prime minister was quoted.
Human rights activists criticized the recent decision, which is contrary to the Freedom of movement for refugees. They called for Kenyan authorities to withdraw the directive.
Last year, Kenya, Somalia and the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) reached a tripartite agreement which will see more than 500,000 Somali refugees in Kenyan camps be given a chance to return home. The process is expected to take over the next coming two years.
Kenya’s security has been worsening since its troops entered Somali soil in 2011, after the Kenyan government announced that it had faced threats from the al-Qaeda linked group.