Kenyan Court temporarily blocks closure of Kakuma, Dadaab camps

2014/06/09, Dadaab, Kenya. Visit to Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. In picture: panoramic view over Dadaab refugee camp. (Photo by William Van Hecke/Corbis via Getty Images)

The High Court in Nairobi, Kenya has temporarily blocked the Kenyan government from repatriating refugees and asylum seekers dwelling at Kakuma and Dadaab camps.

NTV reports that The two orders: against closure of the camps and repatriation of the refugees, will remain in force until July 7 when the cases will be mentioned for directions.

Justice Anthony Mrima issued the order following a petition filed by rights advocacy group Kituo Cha Sheria, challenging Interior minister Fred Matiang’i’s announcement on the government’s intention to shut the two refugee camps.

The two host 430,000 people mainly from Somalia but also from countries such as South Sudan and Ethiopia.

The judge directed consolidation of the petition with another one filed earlier by former presidential aspirant Peter Gichira on April 8, and in which a court suspended the closure of the camps.

The Kenyan government on March 24th issued a two-week ultimatum to the UNHCR to ‘have a road map on definite closure of Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps’, saying there is no room for further negotiations.

(With input from NTV Kenya)