Created by Miguel Pinho

Somali President visits Kenya

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is in Kenya on a two-day official visit.

The President, who arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Friday morning, was received by his Kenyan counterpart Mwai Kibaki.

He is accompanied by senior officials from his government, including deputy Prime Minister and minister of Foreign Affairs Fowsiya Aden and ministers Abdulkareem Guled, Abdullahi Elmooge and Farah Sheikh

His visit comes at a time when the Kenyan government had ordered all refugees and asylum seekers out of urban areas, with those from Somalia being asked to report to the Dadaab camp.

Acting Commissioner for Refugee Affairs Badu Katelo placed the public notice in newspapers, adding that the registration of new refugees had been stopped

Human rights activists and refugee agencies have criticised the drastic move by Kenya, which includes stopping all direct services that were being offered in the urban areas by relief agencies.

UNHCR has also raised concern that the decision would lead to more overcrowding of the refugee camps in northern Kenya.

Though there has been no official response from the Somalia over the matter, former Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Ali has cautioned Kenya against making a hasty policy.

Kakuma camp currently has 80,000 refugees and asylum seekers and there were fears that the 90,000-capacity Dadaab would be overstretched if all the 450,000 Somalis registered by UNHCR to be residing in Kenya moved there.

President Mohamoud has been keenly following the security situation in the country and even sent a message of condolence to the families of those who died in a blast in Nairobi’s Eastleigh estate early this month.

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