Kenya says it plans to shut down two refugee camps, including the world’s largest, due to security concerns. The announcement was swiftly condemned by human rights groups that say the move puts some of the world’s most vulnerable people at risk.
In a statement, the Kenyan government says it is working to expedite the closure of the Dadaab and Kakuma camps. They’re home to hundreds of thousands of refugees, the vast majority fleeing violence in neighboring Somalia.
The government has made such threats previously. Last year, it announced it was closing the camps but later “backed down in the face of international pressure,” CNN reports.
As NPR’s Gregory Warner reported last year, “With every new terrorist attack in Kenya, there’s another call to close Dadaab,” the world’s largest camp. Gregory says “the 23-year-old refugee camp is more like a small city than a tented village. More than 300,000 Somali refugees call it home.”