Published On: Wed, May 6th, 2015

Kenya: U.S. Pledges Sh4.2 Billion for Refugees, Says Dadaab Camp Should Remain Open

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi, Kenya on May 4, 2015.

The United States has pledged to give the UNHCR Sh4.2 billion for refugees living in Kenya, US Secretary of State John Kerry has said.

Dadaab refugee camp should remain open amid efforts for voluntary repatriation and the humane resolution of the issue, Kerry said.

“Kenya has been known to welcome those oppressed in their own countries. Kenya needs international support in hosting refugees,” he said.

“I know Kenyans feel the pain after Garissa attack but you must be proud that you have for years provided a home for refugees.”

He said democratic rights must be observed and human rights and the law respected in the fight against terrorism.

Speaking at Sankara Hotel, Nairobi on Monday, Kerry said the US will provide equipment, training and intelligence to help Kenya fight terror.

“The strength of our engagement with Kenya is extraordinary. I leave here with a clear picture of the steps to take in order to address the refugee situation in Kenya,” he said.

Noting that Kenya is only safe when her neighbours are stable, he said KDF should remain in Somalia until the al Shabaab militia group is defeated.

“Kenyans should be proud to have their troops in Somalia. Amisom needs all equipment necessary to complete their mission. They need boosting to be able to fight terrorism.”

“We believe Africans should be in the front line to solve challenges in other African countries and we admire what Kenya has done in setting an example for the rest of Africa.”

Kerry and President Uhuru Kenyatta earlier discussed investment, security and President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to Kenya.

Uhuru said Kenya needs support in training, equipment and surveillance and a closer working relationship with the US to control the financing of terrorism.

Kerry lauded Uhuru on initiatives to end the stalemate in South Sudan and addressed his government’s efforts to support Somalia.

During the meeting at State House, Nairobi, Uhuru informedhim on efforts by IGAD leaders to end the conflict in South Sudan.

Kerry said there was need to find lasting peace in South Sudan and urged regional leaders to increase efforts to end the conflict.

Uhuru said he was coordinating with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and other regional leaders to convince the warring sides to stop the war.

Regarding investments, Kerry sought to know how business-friendly the Kenyan economy is and the areas in which US companies can invest.

Uhuru described Kenya as the gateway to Africa and noted that it is the ninth largest economy on the continent.

He said Kenya is ranked highly in terms of business environment and that recent international rankings reinforced its position as a favourite destination for foreign investors.

Uhuru said his government wants to see more Us companies investing in ICT and innovation, energy, infrastructure and healthcare.

He said there are massive opportunities for investment in green energy with Kenya having the capacity to provide half of Africa’s geothermal energy needs.

“We want to build an entrepreneurial spirit and bring prosperity to our people. We are ready to partner with Americans to invest in our country, to create more wealth and jobs,” he said.

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