Press Statement of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 537th meeting on Kenya’s efforts in fighting al-Shabaab and its plan of relocating the Dabaab Refugee Camp (31.08.2015)
The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 537th meeting held on 24 August 2015, was briefed by Ambassador Monica Juma, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government of the Republic of Kenya, on Kenya’s efforts in fighting al-Shabaab and its plan of relocating the Dabaab Refugee Camp.
Council reiterated its deep concern at the growing threat of terrorism and violent extremism and the resulting impact on peace and security on the continent. Council expressed the AU’s condemnation of all acts of terrorism by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes. Council stressed the imperative for continued and enhanced efforts to combat this scourge, on the basis of the relevant African and international instruments and its own decisions, notably communiqué PSC/AHG/COMM.(CDLV), adopted at its 455th meeting held in Nairobi, on 2 September 2014. Council underlined the need, in fighting terrorism, for a comprehensive approach and to uphold the highest standards in terms of human rights and international humanitarian law, bearing in mind the relevant provisions of the AU 2004 Protocol to the 1999 Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism.
Council condemned, in the strongest terms, the cowardly and heinous terrorist attacks committed by al-Shabaab in Kenya, resulting in large numbers of deaths and serious injuries, causing massive destruction of property and disrupting the daily life of ordinary Kenyans. Council expressed the AU’s full solidarity with the Government and people of Kenya and its condolences to the families of the dead, and wished speedy recovery to the injured. Council reiterated its support to the Government of Kenya in its efforts to combat the al-Shabaab terrorist group. Council also reiterated its appreciation to Kenya for its contribution to the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the sacrifices made in this respect.
Council expressed its appreciation to the Government and people of Kenya for hosting large numbers of refugees at the Dabaab camp, since its establishment in 1990.
Council took note of the planned relocation of the Dabaab refugee camp, as part of the Kenyan Government overall efforts to prevent attacks by the al-Shabaab terrorist group. Council agreed to undertake further consultations on this issue with all concerned stakeholders, with a view to contributing to the search for a sustainable solution that would take into account Kenya’s overall national security concerns, whilst respecting relevant international and African instruments, including the 1951 United Nations (UN) Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 UN Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, as well as the Organization of Africa Unity (OAU) Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa. Council requested the Commission to submit to it a report on the issue, with recommendations on the way forward, by early October 2015.