A spokesman for Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta's government said the proposal "borders on racism". Photo: Thomas Mukoya/Scanpix
Two opposition parties’ proposals to send refugees back to where they came from has been slammed by Kenyan officials as “condescending and ridiculous”, according to Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation.
“It almost borders on racism. Why would they want to bring there here from their country?” Mwedna Njoka, a spokesman for Kenya’s Interior Ministry, told the paper.
See also: New refugee proposals: Send them back
Earlier this month, opposition parties Liberal Alliance (LA) and the Danish People’s Party (DF) both presented variations on the same basic proposed solution to Denmark’s refugee influx: ship them back from whence they came.
LA’s proposal calls for Denmark to stop accepting all refugees who are fleeing from wars, with party leader Anders Samuelsen telling Jyllands-Posten that “they should be turned around at the airport, put on a plane and sent to a refugee camp in the area of where they came from.” Instead, the party suggests, refugees should be helped in Danish-run camps abroad.
DF’s plan suggested that Danish-run refugee camps should be set up in “an African country, a country in Asia or the Middle East”.
Leading opposition party Venstre called the ideas “interesting” but party spokeswoman Inger Støjberg told Politiko that she had doubts about getting “other countries to take on the responsibility”.
Based on Njoka’s remarks, Denmark can rule out Kenya.
“Every country has an obligation to allow refugees in its country,” Njoka told Daily Nation, which pointed out that Kenya hosts 600,000 refugees from Somalia while Denmark has just 16,000.
Despite the condemning response from Kenya, DF’s Martin Henriksen said he wouldn’t give up his plan.
“A sharp reaction isn’t enough to knock me out,” Henriksen told Politiken.
Around 20,000 refugees are expected to seek asylum in Denmark in 2014, more than double the Danish government's estimates from earlier in the year.