Sabahi (Washington, DC)

21 February 2014

Somalia: UN Identifies Kismayo, Luq and Baidoa As Safe for Return of Somali Refugees

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced on Thursday (February 20th) that it deemed three regions in southern Somalia safe for Somali refugees in Kenya to return, Somalia's RBC Radio reported.

Speaking at a press conference in Nairobi, UNHCR's representative in Kenya Raouf Mazou said the agency held consultations with a number of stakeholders and concluded that Kismayo, Luq and Baidoa were relatively peaceful and safe for returning refugees.

Mazou emphasised that any return of refugees must be voluntary, but noted that the number of Somalis willing to go home was increasing, estimating that the repatriation was likely to take up to two years.

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