NAIROBI, Kenya — President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya on Wednesday softened a threat to expel hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees within three months, saying there would be no forced repatriations.
Mr. Kenyatta made the assurance after meetings with the top refugee official from the United Nations. He also met with Secretary of State John Kerry here this week.
Kenya’s government was sharply criticized last month for vowing to close Dadaab, one of the world’s oldest and largest refugee complexes, home to more than 350,000 Somalis, about 60 miles from its border with Somalia. The deputy president, William Ruto, said the United Nations refugee agency had three months to relocate Dadaab’s residents, or “we shall relocate them ourselves.”
The threat was part of Kenya’s response to the deadly April 2 attack on a university in Garissa by fighters of the Shabab, the militant group based in Somalia.