October 2016 marks 25 years of the existence of the Dadaab camps in north-eastern Kenya. Established in 1991 when conflicts in neighboring Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia forced thousands to flee to Kenya, the camps have swelled to far more than their capacity over the last quarter of a century. Today, 277,000 people—the majority Somalis—call Dadaab home. Consisting of five camps, it is still today the world’s largest refugee camp complex.
As Kenya’s government-mandated closure of the Dadaab refugee camp draws nearer, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is urging the government of Kenya, the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) and donor countries to find an alternative to a policy that will send thousands of refugees back to war-ravaged Somalia.