- 5th August 2015- 116 Somali refugees arrived at Mogadishu International Airport in Somalia as volunteer refugees returning from Kenya.
- The voluntary return of refugees to Somalia was reached upon after a Tripartite Commission with officials from Kenya, Somalia and U.N High Commission for Refugees.
- The commission targets the repatriation of 425,000 Somali refugees from Kenya in a five-year period.
An agreement by a Tripartite Commission made up of Kenya, Somalia and UNHCR has commenced a 5-year repatriation program of 425,000 refugees from Kenya back to the same regions in Somalia.
116 Somali refugees arrived at Mogadishu International Airport in Somalia as volunteer refugees returning from Kenya. They follow a pilot program that began in December 2014 that has seen 3000 refugees return to the relatively safe regions like Luuq, Kismayo and Baidoa.
Most of the refugees are living in the largest refugee camp in the world Dadaab Refugee Camp with some of them being there since the 1990s. The reason for the volunteer is because the World Food Program is low on funds and has cut the supply by 30% creating an indirect motivation to the voluntary return to Somalia.
The Tripartite Commission was formed after the Kenyan government request for the closure of Dadaab Camp following the Garissa Massacre. The camp was said to be a haven for harboring terrorists and who used the camp as a front to plan for attacks in the country.
UNHCR spokeswoman Karin de Gruijl said that the returnees will receive money, food, seed and different technical assistance bout further said that the conditions especially the socio-economic aspect very difficult for bulk repatriation.
The unpredictable security situation in Somalia is a great hindrance to the repatriation as the refugees can only be set up in the more secure and development-prospective regions.
The program also seeks to initiate the development of Somalia seeing as the money the returnees are given with incorporate them back to the society and aid in stabilizing Somalia as a whole.
The deteriorating conditions at the Dadaab Camp will continuously influence the number of voluntary returnees to increase as the bad conditions and the promise of a better life being offered by the repatriation program is better than at the camp.
The success of the Repatriation will offer the returnees sustainable life back home only if social amenities like clinics, schools and general infrastructure are rebuild in the more stable areas. The program is expected to curb the number of attacks and terrorist embedded within the camp thus reducing homegrown terrorism in Kenya.