120 Somali refugees head home from Kenya

Some 10,000 Somali refugees living in eastern Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp are expected to be repatriated within six months

120 Somali refugees head home from Kenya
World Bulletin/News Desk
 
 Some 120 Somali refugees living in Kenya were repatriated back to their native Somalia on Thursday, from which they had fled two decades ago following the outbreak of civil war.

"The convoy is made up of three buses escorted by security personnel from either country [Kenya or Somali] until they reach their destination," UNHCR spokesman Emmanuel Nyabera told The Anadolu Agency.

Each voluntary returnee was given $100 to meet their travel needs.

Returning refugees will be settled in Kismayo and Baidoa, two Somali cities that are now relatively peaceful. They are expected to arrive to their destinations by Saturday.

"Upon arriving, we help them settle down and start new lives," Nyabera said.

The UNHCR spokesman said it was the second group of Somali refugees to return home.

Last week, some 100 Somali refugees living in Kenya became the first to be repatriated back to the war-torn country after more than two decades of civil war.

A total of 10,000 Somali refugees living in eastern Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp are expected to be repatriated within six months.

Areas of Somalia that have been declared safe for the returnees include Luq, Baidoa and Kismayo, all of which were liberated from Somalia's Al-Shabaab militant group in recent years.

The recent raft of repatriations follow an agreement signed between the UNHCR, Kenya and Somalia in November of last year aimed at ensuring that all repatriations were voluntary in nature.

Kenya is home to more than 460,000 Somali refugees who since 1991 had fled the troubled Horn of Africa country.

Somalia has remained in the grip of on-again, off-again violence since the outbreak of civil war in 1991.

Earlier this year, the country had appeared to inch closer to stability after government troops and African Union forces – deployed in the country since 2007 – drove the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab group from most of its strongholds.

www.aa.com.tr/en

Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Aralık 2014, 19:24
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