Somalia: Conflict-Torn Somalia Faces Influx of Returning Refugees

Mogadishu — MORE than 107 000 Somali refugees have returned to the country mostly from neighbouring Kenya where their future is threatened by plans to close refugee camps. Kenya plans the Dabaab refugee camps citing financial constraints and the facilities degeneration into breeding the al-Shabaab insurgents. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) of the 2 274 refugees that returned since September, 1 509 arrived from Kenya while 532 were from Yemen, 232 from Djibouti and one from Eritrea. Since 2014, a total of 107,392 Somali refugees have returned to Somalia including 76 612 from Kenya. A total of 33 154 have been living from Yemen while 626 were from other countries of asylum. The return to Somalia is also attributed to the fact that these countries that Somalis had fled to after decades of problems are now beset by conflicts of their own. Returnees who have opted for voluntary repatriation are entitled to receive an enhanced return package at their final destination in the East African country. The final components of the initial pilot of an updated post-returns monitoring system were put in place for implementation in October through a consortium of implementing partners. UNHCR believes the updated system would provide much-needed data on progress towards reintegration for returning refugees. "This will help establish an evidence base for UNHCR Somalia to provide more targeted, area-based assistance to support sustainable reintegration," a spokesperson said.

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