NEW YORK, United States of America, May 24, 2016 – The Secretary-General met yesterday with H.E. William Ruto, Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya. They exchanged views on the main peace, security and humanitarian challenges facing the region, including recent developments in Somalia, South Sudan and Burundi. They also discussed the assistance of the United Nations to regional efforts aimed at addressing these challenges.
The Secretary-General expressed his concern about the intention of the Kenyan Government to end the hosting of refugees in Dadaab citing economic, security and environmental burdens. He recognized the extraordinary humanitarian role Kenya has played over the years as one of the world’s foremost refugee hosting countries, but pointed to the potentially devastating consequences of prematurely ending refugee hosting for hundreds of thousands of people. The Secretary-General noted the upcoming visits of the Deputy-Secretary General and the High Commissioner for Refugees to Kenya which will provide another opportunity to further engage on this issue.
The Deputy President and the Secretary-General also exchanged views on current developments in Kenya including preparations for the 2017 elections. The Secretary-General underscored the need for a peaceful election process with full respect for human rights.
Istanbul, 23 May 2016
NEW YORK, United States of America, May 18, 2016 – The Secretary-General spoke today by telephone with President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya following the Kenyan Government’s decision of 6 May 2016 to close the Dadaab refugee camps. He expressed deep appreciation to President Kenyatta and the people of Kenya for decades of generous hospitality to significant populations of asylum-seekers and refugees. The Secretary-General assured President Kenyatta that he appreciated the enormous task and responsibility involved in hosting large numbers of refugees, amidst daunting security challenges.
The Secretary-General urged President Kenyatta to continue to use the Tripartite Agreement, signed in November 2013 with the Federal Government of Somalia and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), as a basis for the voluntary return of Somali refugees in safety and dignity. He expressed the United Nations support to Kenya, including the proposal by the High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, that a high-level bilateral review on the refugee situation in Kenya be conducted by the Government of Kenya and UNHCR.
The Secretary-General mentioned that the Deputy Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Refugees would visit Kenya at the end of May. They look forward to discussing this issue forward with the Government of Kenya, and will underline the readiness of the United Nations to garner the support of the international community in addressing Kenya’s refugee challenges, with consideration for the host communities in Kenya as well as the sub-regional security concerns.