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Over 50 000 refugees reside in Nairobi

04 August 2014, 17:05 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (RMMS), a non-governmental organization covering movement of people around the world has revealed that out of 569 453 refugees and asylum seekers hosted in Kenya, 50 092 live in Nairobi.

The RMMS Senior Project Officer, Noela Barasa said her organization’s May to June 2014 survey on immigrants into the country shows that majority are Somali, South Sudanese and Ethiopians respectively.

“The largest number of refugees and asylum seekers remain Somali nationals (427 822), followed by South Sudanese (76 310) and Ethiopians (30 343),” said Barasa.

“Between May and June, the Somali refugee population increased by 1 432 individuals, while the South Sudan population in Kenya increased by 6 061 individuals. Tens of thousands of undocumented migrants from neighboring countries and further afield continue to reside in Kenya, predominantly in urban centers,” she asserted.

Barasa reiterated that during the Operation Usalama Watch that kicked off in March 2014 to beef up security due to witnessed terror attacks, 200 foreign nationals out of over 4 000 immigrants arrested and detained in camps by the end of June were from Nairobi.  

“Access for humanitarian actors to detention facilities was allowed with the exception of Kasarani. No deportations to Mogadishu were recorded in June but five cases of refugees forcibly returned to Mogadishu from Nairobi since April 2014 have been confirmed,” stated Barasa.

She revealed that an estimated 2 200 refugees have been sent to both Dadaab and Kakuma camps while 359 Somalis have been deported to Somalia by air since the commencement of the Operation.

Barasa also said many Somali nationals are unwilling to return to their country for fear of insecurity and poor access to basic services.

“Currently, it has been reported that few individuals are willing to return to Somalia. The number of Somali refugees at Dadaab camp help-desk who have registered their interest to return remains 2 000,” said Barasa.

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