Global Journalist: Kenya Tries to Close the World's Largest Refugee Camp

Sep 1, 2016

Credit (EPA)

Picture a city of about 300,000 people - something the size of Tampa, Fla. or Riverside, Calif.

Now picture all of those people in this city being told it’s being closed down and they have to move.

That’s what the Kenyan government in East Africa is trying to do with the 340,000 people who live in Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp. Built 24 years ago by the U.N. to house people fleeing Somalia's civil war, many of the people living there today have never set foot in Somalia and don't want to go back. 


But Kenya’s government has had enough of hosting them. It says some terror attacks were planned inside the camp by Somalis loyal to the militant group al-Shabaab.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we discuss the difficulties involved in closing a massive refugee camp.  

Joining the program:

  • Mark Yarnell, a senior advocate at Refugees International.
  • Anab Nur, a human rights lawyer in Mogadishu.
  • John Thon Majok, a former refugee in Kenya and program associate at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.