The decision by the Kenyan government to close the world’s largest refugee camp has been met with both enthusiasm and condemnation as up to 600,000 people stand to be repatriated after most were displaced from neighboring Somalia because of violent, political conflict there.

The Dadaab camp, which is scheduled to be shuttered by May 2017, has been called dangerous in part over suspicions it’s become a breeding ground for terrorism, something the government said it is taking steps to quell by closing the camp. In particular, government and security officials believe there in an al-Shabab sleeper cell there. The Somalia-based al-Shabab militant group has launched a series of terror attacks on the region in recent months.

However, refugee advocacy groups, including the UNHCR, the United Nations’  refugee agency, decried the decision and appealed to the Kenyan government to reconsider its decision.

“It is with profound concern that UNHCR takes note of this announcement,” UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards said in a statement. “For almost a quarter of a century, Kenya has played a vital role in East Africa and the Horn of Africa in providing asylum to people forced to flee persecution and war.”

1 The sun sets over the Ifo extension refugee camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border, in Garissa County, Kenya, July 31, 2011. Photo: REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya/File Photo

In addition to having suspected terror cells in operation at Dadaab, there may be other nefarious issues at play there, Kenyan media outlet the Star reported. Those include a “thriving illicit trade,” said Kenya Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho.

Dadaab has been in existence for 25 years and was established in part as a response to a coup d’état in Somalia, where the president was ousted in 1991. Somalis fled their native land to Kenya for refuge, but over the years the Dadaab camp has had its share of controversy, including allegations of police abusing refugees as well as the suspicions over terrorism. The camp is enclosed and the fencing on its perimeter is topped with coiled razors.

fence Boys peer through a fence to see United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres during his visit to the Ifo 2 complex of Kenya’s sprawling Dadaab refugee camp, May 8, 2015. Photo: TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images

Refugees in the camp have also benefited from the schools there, which have provided many Somali children with an education when other Kenyan schools would not admit them. Sentiment for the Dadaab refugees has resonated across the globe, with a group of Canadians holding a fundraiser to help supplement the costs of educating children at the camp.

school Somali students return to their classroom at the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, Jan. 21, 2016. Photo: REUTERS/Edmund Blair

The photos below offer a closer look at various aspects of daily life at the Dadaab camp.

9 The mangled wreckage of a police truck lies at the Dagahaley section of the sprawling Dadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya after it was hit by an improvised explosive device, July 25, 2012. Photo: ABDULLAHI MIIRE/AFP/Getty Images

2 A young refugee sits near a crumbling mud wall along a road at the Ifo 2 complex of Kenya’s sprawling Dadaab refugee camp, May 8, 2015. Photo: TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images

3 A newly arrived Somali refugee is forced from a queue outside a reception center in the Ifo 2 refugee camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border, in Garissa County, Kenya, July 28, 2011. Photo: REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya/File Photo

4 An aerial picture shows the market section of the Hagadera camp in Dadaab near the Kenya-Somalia border, May 8, 2015. Photo: REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

5 Somali refugees shop for produce at a market within Hagadera camp in the sprawling Dadaab refugee camp, north of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, April 29, 2015. Photo: TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images

6 Boys hold their slates as they attend morning madrassa, or Islamic religious classes, at the Hagadera sector of the Dadaab refugee camp, north of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, April 29, 2015. Photo: TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images

7 An overview of part of the eastern sector of the Ifo 2 camp in the sprawling Dadaab refugee camp, north of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, April 28, 2015. Photo: TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images

8 Young refugees gather for an event marking World Refugee Day at the Ifo 1 section of the sprawling Dadaab refugee camp, about 220 miles northeast of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Photo: STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images