Kenya to close Dadaab, world's biggest refugee camp

May 13, 2016 15:02 IST

DadaabThe Kenyan Government on 11 May 2016 announced that it will close Dadaab refugee camp. The camp, which is home to 330000 Somali refugees, is often referred to as the world's largest camp.

The government cited reasons of pressing national security for the decision. The government also stated that the camp has become safe haven for terrorist organizations like al-Shabaab, a Somali-based Islamist group.

About Dadaab Refugee Camps

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the camp was established in 1991 to receive Somalis fleeing civil war.

The Dadaab camps Dagahaley, Hagadera and Ifo were constructed in 1992.

The more recent Ifo II and Kambioos camps were opened in 2011 after 130000 new refugees, who fled Somalia due to severe drought, arrived.

As of August 2015, Hagadera was the largest of the camps, containing just over 100000 individuals and 25000 households. On the other hand, Kambioos is the smallest camp with fewer than 20000 refugees.

As the population of the Dadaab camps expanded, UNHCR contacted German architect Werner Shellenberg who drew the original design for Dagahaley Camp and Swedish architect Per Iwansson who designed and initiated the creation of Hagadera camp.

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