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UNHCR repatriates over 6000 Somali refugees from Kenya's camp

22 January 2016, 22:10

Nairobi - The UN refugee agency said Wednesday it has repatriated more than 6,000 Somali refugees on a voluntary basis from the Dadaab settlement in northeast Kenya to areas in southwest of Somalia which have been pacified.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said some 248 returnees were assisted to return by flight to Mogadishu and Baidoa in southwest Somalia in December.

"During the month of December, 248 returnees were assisted to return by flight to Mogadishu and Baidoa. In total and as of December 31 2015, 6,101 Somali refugees returned home since December 8, 2014, when UNHCR started supporting voluntary return of Somali refugees in Kenya," UNHCR said in its latest report.

According to UNHCR, the first repatriation flight to Baidoa, was organized on Dec. 7, taking 63 refugees from Dadaab camps which marked exactly one year since the first road convoy of Somali refugees left.

So far the UN refugee agency has managed to repatriate 3,900 refugees by road and 2,201 others by air to Mogadishu and other areas in southern Somalia.

Also read: Leadership vacuum at ODM?

During the reporting period, new born registration was carried out across all camps, 869 babies issued with birth certificates were registered; out of the 869 new born registered 37 were assigned in-situ (birth) status.

"As a result, compared to an annual performance target of 15,550 children registered and issued documentation under regular birth registration procedure, a total of 10,646 children have been registered as at December 31, 2015, representing 68.46 percent of progress towards the target," UNHCR said.

The UN agency said 76 new refugees were registered by Kenya's Department of Refugee Affairs (DRA) and subsequently registered by UNHCR.

"The new arrivals registered were relocated cases from Nairobi who adduced the DRA registration forms while others were identified as vulnerable cases and were registered on protection grounds," it said.

Kenya, Somalia and the UNHCR in 2013 reached a tripartite agreement for the voluntary return of these refugees to Somalia by the end of 2016.

The UNHCR argues Somalia is still insecure and there are still insufficient social amenities to accommodate all of them.


- Xinhua


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