UNHCR returns nearly 62,000 Somali refugees from Kenya

UNHCR returns nearly 62,000 Somali refugees from Kenya

The UN refugee agency on Tuesday said it had repatriated 61,665 Somali refugees in Kenya since the exercise began in December, 2014.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in its bi-weekly Update released in Nairobi that some 1,836 refugees were supported to return to their homes in Somalia in the past 10 days.

The UN agency said 22,351 out of 61,665 refugees were supported in 2017 alone, adding that 20,991 refugees were currently being registered for voluntary repatriation.

“Road convoys to Somalia are suspended due to the heavy rains in Dadaab area of operation and some parts of Somalia.

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“UNHCR Somalia and its partners are closely monitoring the accessibility of roads in the 12 designated return areas,” it said.

However, UNHCR said flights to Mogadishu currently facilitated the voluntary return of those willing to travel by air as well as flights to Kismayu in southern Somalia.

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 Persons (IDPs) 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 this a critical moment to renew efforts to find durable solutions for Somali refugees. (Xinhua/NAN)

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