In December 2012, the Government of Kenya announced a decision to enforce its refugee encampment policy, thereby ending its acceptance of urban refugees. Citing security concerns, the Department of Refugee Affairs (DRA) declared that the registration of refugees in urban areas must stop, all refugees living in cities should move to refugee camps, and humanitarian agencies are to cease providing services to urban refugees. While the full implications of this announcement are not yet clear, a major concern is the reported increase in police abuse, extortion, and arbitrary arrest of Somalis living in Nairobi since the DRA’s announcement.
The Humanitarian Practice Network brought together senior representatives of international organisations, NGOs, and UK government ministries working in relation to Kenya and Somalia.The discussion covered the implications of the announcement by the Kenyan government. The discussion was held under the Chatham House Rule and participation was by invitation.