NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said Thursday the number of Somali refugees
voluntarily repatriated from the Dadaab camp in northwest Kenya had reached
30,349 since December 2014.
The UNHCR said in its report released in
Nairobi that among them, 24,248 refugees left in 2016 alone.
"During the reporting period (Sept.1-15), 482 returnees were supported to
voluntarily return to Somalia by flight," UNHCR said in its bi-monthly report.
Kenya, in collaboration with the UNHCR, is working on a program that will
ensure a smooth and voluntary repatriation of over 500,000 refugees at the
Dadaab refugee camp after Nairobi announced the closure of the camp early this
Kenya, which hosted protracted negotiations that culminated in the formation
of the transitional federal government of Somalia, said the refugee situation
continues to pose security threats to Nairobi and the region apart from the
Kenya believes Somalia militant group Al-Shabaab, which killed 148 people at
Garissa University in April last year, are behind a spate of attacks that have
hit several parts of northern and coastal regions, as well as the capital.
The UNHCR has decided to increase the return and reintegration assistance
package offered in Kenya and Somalia, which include cash grants, customized
shelter package, education and health grants.
"The return of Somali refugees from Dadaab camps gained significant momentum
as many refugees are reported to be registering for repatriation across the
camps," the UNHCR said.
It said, however, that road convoys were suspended from Aug. 30, after the
Jubaland administration notified UNHCR Somalia about their decision not to
receive any more returnees until integration processes inside Somalia are
The UN refugee agency said it’s also working on the construction of two new
transit centers in both Ifo and Hagadera camps at Dadaab in response to the high
number of refugees willing to return.
"These centers will have a capacity of accommodating 2,000 individuals each.
In addition, the expansion of the Dagahaley transit center is ongoing," it said.