NAIROBI, Apr 4, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX)
- Kenyan Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Marsden Madoka on Thursday called for the resettlement of the refugees elsewhere from Kenya, saying that the refugee influx poses a threat to Kenya's national security.
Madoka made the remarks during a meeting here with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) regional representative for East and Central Africa, Edwin Mcclain.
He said that Kenya is currently hosting over 140,000 refugees from neighboring countries, especially from Somalia and the Sudan.
The absence of a central authority in Somalia over the last decade has created a situation whereby terrorists and extremist groups operate freely in the Horn of Africa country, thereby threatening the national security of neighboring states, he added.
Madoka expressed concern regarding the grave situation in Somalia which has impacted negatively posing a threat to peace, security and stability in the region.
He noted that the conflict in Somalia had resulted in an exodus of refugees and that arms destined to factions had contributed to illicit trade and proliferation of small arms leading to insecurity.
On his part, Mcclain disclosed that his organization has repatriated over 12,000 refugees from Kenya to other countries including Canada, Australia and the United States last year.
At the same time, he confirmed that Kenya will host IOM regional conference next month when 13 African countries are expected to participate on the issue of refugee resettlement.
Copyright 2002 XINHUA NEWS AGENCY.
Copyright (c) 2002 Comtex News Network
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 04/04/2002 15:48:05