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Kenyan court blocks bid to shut Dadaab refugee camp

Feb 09, 2017, 8:15 AM EST
Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp, set up in 1991, shelters about 260,000 Somalis.
(Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland/flickr)

The Kenyan government suffered a setback in its bid to close the world’s largest refugee camp in Dadaab after the country’s high court annulled the lockdown order on Thursday, calling the move unconstitutional. Judge John Mativo criticized Kenya's internal security minister for abuse of power, describing his directive as a breach of Kenya’s constitutional right to fair legal proceedings.

Dadaab refugee camp, set up in 1991, shelters about 260,000 Somalis who fled war in their country, writes the BBC. The government’s decision to forcibly repatriate these refugees was challenged by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and lobby group Kituo Cha Sheria.

The verdict, which also blocked a government decision to disband the Department for Refugee Affairs, has been hailed as “historic,” by Amnesty International's East Africa chief, Muthoni Wanyeki, notes Al Jazeera.

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