State accused of blackmail in refugee repatriation standoff

Former National Assembly deputy Speaker Farah Maalim. He has accused the State of blackmailing the international community for more funding in the latest threat to repatriate thousands of refugees from Kenya. FILE PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Maalim also said continuous presence of AU troops in Somalia was not in the interest of peacekeeping but individual country’s interest.
  • He said Amisom troops were there to benefit individual countries in the pretext of driving away Al-Shabaab militants.
  • Meanwhile, aid workers at the Dadaab refugee camp have faulted the State for disbanding the Department of Refugee Affairs.

Former National Assembly deputy speaker Farah Maalim has accused the State of blackmailing the international community for more funding in the latest threat to repatriate thousands of refugees from Kenya.

Speaking by the phone, Mr Maalim also said continuous presence of African Union (AU) troops in Somalia was not in the interest of peacekeeping but individual country’s interest to solicit funds from the international community.

He termed the State’s insistence that it will repatriate 350,000 refugees from Dadaab refugee camp as a diversionary tactic.

“It is wild to allege that terrorist attacks are planned in refugee camps as no one has been convicted from the camps in connection with terror activities,” Mr Maalim said.

He added: “The reality of the matter is that refugees are not going anywhere, they have been used before and still being used by the government as blackmail in so many ways.”

He said that African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) troops were there to benefit individual countries in the pretext of driving away Al-Shabaab militants.

“The UN foots the bills of Amisom troops and Uganda, Burundi and Ethiopia are not interested in eliminating Al-Shabaab but only care about cash [and] nobody holds them accountable for. Sadly, Kenya has joined the club,” the former Lagdera MP said.

Meanwhile, aid workers at the Dadaab refugee camp have faulted the State for disbanding the Department of Refugee Affairs.

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