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Kenya: Asylum

International Development written question – answered on 12th December 2011.

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Photo of Debbie Abrahams Debbie Abrahams Labour, Oldham East and Saddleworth

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support the Government is providing to the Government of Kenya to ensure that it (a) restarts registration of those Somalis fleeing conflict and seeking refugee status in Kenya and (b) fulfils its other obligations under international refugee law.

Photo of Andrew Mitchell Andrew Mitchell The Secretary of State for International Development

My Department does not directly fund the Kenyan Government's Department for Refugee Affairs (DRA) which is responsible for registration of refugees, but DRA does receive support through UNHCR (the UN refugee agency, which the UK does fund) and other donors. I am very concerned about the suspension of registration of new refugees. Registration is important for the protection of refugees as well as in Kenya's own security interests.

I have regularly pressed the Kenyan Government on the rights of refugees, including after my visit to the Dadaab refugee camp in July. When I last met Minister Saitoti, Kenyan Minister for Provincial Administration and Internal Security, on 21 November, I again acknowledged Kenya's generosity in hosting refugees, but also raised the importance of not forcibly repatriating refugees. The Prime Minister has also made the same points in a letter to President Kibaki. My officials are following up with the Kenyan Government on the need to restart registration.

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