The al-Shahab militant group (Xarakada Mujaahidiinta Alshabaab in the Swahili Language and The Youth or the Boys in the English) controls a large part of southern Somalia and is directly linked to al-Qaeda. Many Kenyans have accused it for kidnapping and killing tourists and aid workers. In October 2011, Kenya’s military entered Somalia in an attempt to get rid of the al-Shahab threat in Somalia. Since then however, Kenya has been experiencing a series of small-scale attacks on churches, butcher shops and buses.
Two days ago there was a serious grenade attack on Nairobi thrown from a vehicle – officials have blamed this on the al-Shahab movement. Earlier this month, the same area had been hit by grenades and killed six people. Kenya believes al-Shahab are trying to destabilise the country and are posing a threat to both national security and Somalian refugees living in Kenya.
For this reason, Kenya is looking to protect its city by taking the refugees out of the city and into the camps. Hosting refugees has serious implications and responsibilities. Kenya is home to the biggest refugee camp in the world; more than 400,000 refugees live in Dadaab close to the Somalian border. But moving them away from the city has been likened to moving them into concentration camps.
Aid will no longer be delivered to Somalian refugees living outside the camps said the head of Kenya’s refugee agency. But a great deal of the Somalis living in Kenya have been there for a long time and have fled across the border since up to two years ago. It somehow seems unfair to treat the refugees in such a manner. A Kenyan legislator criticised this move saying: “The government is saying refugees should be put in to concentration camps. That can’t work and is against international law. Instead the government should pave way for a proper camps set-up to allow for ease of patrol by security personnel. We can’t bury our own tails,” said Sugow, a retired major general in the Kenyan army.