Repatriation of Somali refugees from Dadaab camp set to continue

Commissioner for Refugee Affairs in the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government Haron Komen address journalists at his office in Lavington on May 22, 2015 where he said the government will resume repatriation of refuges from the Dadaab camp to Somalia. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP



The repatriation of Somali refugees from the Dadaab camp will resume this week.

The relocation was suspended due to heavy rains that affected roads, according to the Commissioner for Refugee Affairs Haron Komen.

So far 2,050 Somali refugees who were living in Dadaab camp, the world’s largest refugee camp, had been repatriated up to early April when the exercise was put on hold.

Mr Komen said on Friday that the number of refugees to be repatriated will increase when the exercise resumes next week.

Up to 200 people will be returned per convoy to speed up the process and ensure as many refugees as possible go back home by the end of the year.

The repatriation is being done through a framework agreed upon in a tripartite agreement among Kenya, Somalia and the United Nations.

The Kenya government has supported the exercise and wants the refugee camps closed following increased attacks attributed to Al-Shabaab militant group from Somalia.

Speaking on the repatriation exercise at the department’s headquarters in Lavington on Friday, Mr Komen said refugees from Baidoa, Luug and Kismayo should be more than willing to return home as the areas have been liberated by Amisom and the Somali National Army.

Updated statistics from the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government show that the current population of documented refugees is 589,994, a slight increase from 585,363 in 2014.

The estimated number of Somali refugees in the country is 423,244.

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