Kenya, UNHCR plan to repatriate 500,000 Somali refugess
04 November 2015, 21:32
Dadaab - Kenya is working in
collaboration with the UN refugee agency on a program that will ensure a smooth
and voluntary repatriation of over 500,000 refugees living in five camps at the
Dadaad refugee camp in Kenya.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaisery said the long
term plan included maintaining stability in Somalia by the Kenyan troops under
AMISOM and ensuring all the necessary infrastructure such as health services,
education and water are in place before the refugees go back home.
"We have to ensure that the refugees go back to a safe
place. That is why we still have our troops inside Somalia to stabilize the
country," Nkaissery said on Tuesday at the Dadaab refugee complex in
"Basic facilities such as schools, hospitals and other
infrastructure have to be put in place so that when the refugees go back
voluntarily , they have safe place to settle," he said.
According to Kenya, some 45,000 refugees have been
repatriated in the last two years from the Dadaab refugee camp and more could
soon be going back home under the new program.
Returning refugees are assisted with transport to their
places of origin, mostly in Kismayo, Mogadishu, Baidoa and Luuq in South and
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They also receive a cash grant, food and basic domestic
items such as sleeping mats, mosquito nets, a solar lantern, hygiene supplies
and kitchen utensils to help them start a new life.
According to UNHCR, more than 26,000 Somali refugees have
fled violence in Yemen and returned to Somalia, mostly to Mogadishu.
The new phase of repatriation is the result of efforts by
the Tripartite Commission formed by UNHCR and the governments of Kenya and
Somalia which was formed to step up support for voluntary repatriation of
Despite the fragile security environment situation in Somalia,
refugees have started to return, UNHCR said, noting that more still have
returned spontaneously without receiving assistance from UNHCR.
Under the current agreement assistance will be provided to
returnees to any area of Somaliland, Puntland and South Central Somalia.
Dadaab has been providing protection, shelter and
humanitarian assistance to Somali refugees for two decades, but has grappled
with difficult and complex circumstances including chronic overcrowding, a risk
of disease and seasonal floods.
Kenya also said the refugee situation has continued to pose
security threats to itself, and believed Somalia militants, Al-Shabaab, who
killed 148 people at Garissa University in April are behind insecurity that
affects several parts of the country, including national capital Nairobi and