Africa Center Associate Director Joshua Meservey writes for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation on what closing Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya would mean for regional security:
Since Kenya’s armed forces invaded Somalia in 2011 in pursuit of the terrorist organisation al-Shabaab, the country has endured more than one hundred terror attacks. Al-Shabaab’s latest major attack came on 2 April 2015 when four gunmen entered Garissa University in eastern Kenya and murdered nearly 150 students. It was the deadliest attack in Kenya since the 1998 bombing of the US embassy in the capital Nairobi.
The attack increased pressure on the government to find a solution to the wave of violence. On 11 April 2015, Deputy President William Ruto demanded that the United Nations remove Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp from the country within three months, continuing a longstanding government practice of blaming domestic insecurity on the country’s refugees. Dadaab is a sprawling complex of five camps in Kenya’s northeast near the border with Somalia. Today it shelters more than 330,000 Somali refugees.