Opinion: Threat of a closure of the Dadaab Refugee Camp – Is it a bargaining chip?
This is not the first time the Kenyan Government have claimed they want to close the Kakuma and Dadaab Refugee Camp. That has been done before, they did this in May and June 2016. Even the Federal Republic of Somalia was worried at one point, that the refugees would suddenly return after the notification of the closure back then. Suddenly late in August 2016, the U.S. Government suddenly dropped more money on the Refugee Camps. Than, it became silence and no problem hosting them. The same happen with the European Union in 2017 and certainly, the same government hopes in happens in 2019. However, don’t be surprised, if someone get hooked on the bait.
Because in August 2016, the US Administration stated this:
“WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, August 23, 2016 – Today, Secretary of State John Kerry announced in Nairobi that the United States is providing more than $146 million in additional U.S. humanitarian assistance to support refugees, voluntary returnees, and drought victims in Kenya and Somalia. This new funding includes a significant new contribution of more than $59 million for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to protect and assist refugees in Kenya, and support voluntary refugee returns to Somalia. In addition, the funding includes new humanitarian assistance of more than $87 million in food and non-food support for refugees and drought victims in Kenya and Somalia. This announcement brings the total of U.S. humanitarian assistance in Kenya and Somalia to nearly $265 million in fiscal year 2016” (U.S. Department of State – ‘Additional Funding for Kenya and Somalia’ (23.08.2016)
The next year in 2017, in February the High Court of Kenya even blocked the Closure of the Refugee Camp. Even the European Parliament in May 2017 adopted a text on the Camp stating this:
“whereas the EU has allocated EUR 286 million through the European Development Fund (EDF) for the period 2014-2020, focusing on the implementation of the ‘Compact’ and on state and peace building, food security, resilience and education in particular; whereas the EU Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF) for Africa was signed at the Valletta Summit on 12 November 2015 and was designed to address the root causes of destabilisation, forced displacement and irregular migration by promoting resilience, economic opportunities, equal opportunities, security and development; whereas the EU is responding to the lifesaving basic needs of refugees hosted in Kenyan refugee camps” (EU, 18.05.2017).
Why do I post these old statements on extra added funding for the Refugee Camps in Kenya. Well, the Kenyan Government is now known for having notified the UNHCR, that they would close the Dadaab Refugee Camp and not do it. Because, it is one solution and we all know why they do this. The refugee camps are bargain chips for more funding. This is what they do. It is not the first time and not the last.
This is also the knowledge of the Kenyan Government, that is why they can force again the rich Western Countries, the well-wishing, not-to-friendly wealthy benefactors for own personal benefit. So, they can pay a higher price and drop more jewels on the Refugee Camp. Because, that solves the problem at home and also keeps it going as it has been.
That is why the Kenyan government in the hour of need, in their mercy for some foreign exchange can expose their greed. Notify of the closure of the Refugee Camp. To ensure, that the Western Partners, the ones who donates aid, actually gives them some more. To keep the 30 year old venture up and also pay-off the cronies in Nairobi. Which also needs part of the stake in the Aid Business. They don’t want to skimped out of the well deserved funds for hosting these people.
That is why the same government have tried this trick in 2016, 2017 and now returns to the old venture of skimming money out a refugee problem, again in 2019. We could lie and say, they are really need in more funds and in dire need for such, and such. But then, we would kid ourselves and also the general public.
There are always need for more programs, better food and more possibilities for the ones staying a place Dadaab, but that is not the reason why the Kenyan government did notify the UNHCR. They are hungry and want to eat. It is their turn to eat. That is why the smelled the empty plates and want their UNGA too. Peace.