UN agency repatriates 64,761 Somalis refugees from Kenya

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U.N. logo pattern a press conference background at the United Nations headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

The UN refugee agency on Monday said it had repatriated 64,761 Somali refugees from Kenya since the voluntary return began in December, 2014.

The UNHCR said in its bi-weekly update released in Nairobi that 63,535 refugees were supported to return to their homes in Somalia from the Dadaab refugee camp in northeast Kenya.

“During the reporting period in May, a total of 1,478 Somali refugees were assisted to return voluntarily to Somalia by flight from Dadaab,” UNHCR said.

Some 24,221 refugees returned in 2017 alone.



The agency said that road convoys to Somalia remained suspended due to the heavy rains in some parts of the country, rendering roads impassable.

“UNHCR Somalia and its partners are closely monitoring the situation and will alert us once road movements can resume,” it said.

The UN agency said that flights to Mogadishu and Kismayo in southern Somalia currently facilitated the voluntary return of those willing to travel by air.

Regarding return trends, Kismayo continues to have the highest return rate (87.7 per cent), followed by Mogadishu (6.7 per cent) and Baidoa (4.7 per cent).

“There has been reduction in the number of persons repatriated for the last four weeks under review.



“This reduction could be attributed to the ongoing drought, the cholera outbreak and the recent heavy rains in Somalia,” UNHCR said.

More than two million Somalis have been displaced in one of the world’s most protracted humanitarian crises that have now entered its third decade.

An estimated 1.1 million people are internally displaced within Somalia and nearly 900,000 are refugees in the region.

Experts say continuing political and security stabilisation progress in Somalia, along with growing pressures in hosting countries, makes it a critical moment to renew efforts to find durable solutions for Somali refugees. (Xinhua/NAN)

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