Securitization of Somali refugees : case study of Kenya
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In May 2016, the government of Kenya decided to close down all refugee camps in the country. This was due to an increase in the levels of insecurity in the country. But later on, the decision to close down Kakuma camp was later reversed with the government explaining that links to insecurity was found only in Dadaab camp whose majority population is the Somalis. This in itself argues as securitization act by the Kenyan government to the Somali refugees. As noted in the study, securitization of refugees has been a growing trend in the world. Therefore, this thesis studies how the Kenyan government has securitized Somali refugees. Drawing from qualitative research and discourse analysis this study considers the securitization of the Somali refugees through labeling them as threat by the Kenyan government. This helps understand the narrative created by the Kenyan government towards Somali refugees. The study finds out that the Copenhagen School speech act approach is too narrow as securitization of Somali refugees is not only done through labelling them as threat but as demonstrated in the paper through acts. Following some of the literature by other researchers, this thesis finds the Copenhagen School theory limited in its explanation of the role of audiences in the non-western context as some sectors, not considered as audiences play a significant role in the decision whether or not to legitimize the securitization move. It further argues that the governments should find reliable solutions of dealing with the refugee situations in their borders other than securitizing them.