NAIROBI,-- The UN refugee agency said that it has so far repatriated 4,108 Somali refugees from Dadaab refugee camp in northeast Kenya to Somalia since December last year.
The UN High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in its bi-Weekly Update received in
Nairobi Saturday that 250 individuals returned to the Horn of Africa nation by
road convoy while 224 returnees were assisted to return to Mogadishu by flight
in the first half of September.
"The total number of returnees assisted under
voluntary return process stood at 4,108 as of Sept. 15 (3,510 by road and 598
by flight)," the UN refugee agency said in its latest report.It said some 4,878 refugees have confirmed their intention
to return to Somalia as of Sept. 15, adding that it has strengthened the
identification and assessment of people with special needs under the voluntary return process.
details and needs will be shared with UNHCR Somalia for further follow up upon
arrival in Somalia," the UN agency said.
It also said that
with the anticipated rains in October and November, the number of flights
carrying returnees to Mogadishu will be increased to six flight rotations per
allow more returnees going to Mogadishu and its environs to reach their
destinations safely before the rainy seasons starts," UNHCR said.
The new phase of
repatriation is the result of efforts by the Tripartite Commission, formed by
UNHCR and the governments of Kenya and Somalia, to step up support for
voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees.
fragile security environment situation in Somalia, refugees have started to
return, UNHCR said, noting that more still have returned spontaneously without
receiving assistance from UNHCR.
Under the current
agreement, assistance will be provided to returnees to any area of Somaliland,
Puntland and South Central Somalia.