Dadaab camp 2The attack on Garissa by al-Shabaab was a blow to all Kenyans – Christian and Muslim. It was designed to drive a wedge between them.

The hurt runs very deep, but could now become even deeper.

The Kenyan government is demanding that Somalis who live in the giant UNHCR refugee camp at Dadaab should be repatriated.

“We have asked the UNHCR to relocate the refugees in three months, failure to which we shall relocate them ourselves,” Deputy President William Ruto said in a statement.

The impact on the Somalis could be enormous. Many have lived there for decades and many were born there. Now Human Rights Watch has spoken out.

“The victims of the horrific attack in Garissa deserve justice which won’t be served by unlawfully forcing almost half a million Somali refugees back home to face a real risk to their lives and freedom,” said Leslie Lefkow, Deputy Africa Director at Human Rights Watch. “Instead of scapegoating refugees, Kenya is legally obliged to protect them until it is safe for them to return home and should identify and prosecute those responsible for the killings in Garissa.”

I can only endorse what Leslie Lefkow has said. Let us not make one tragedy into two.