(Xinhua) -- Approximately 70,000
Somalia refugees based at Kenya’s Dabaab refugee camp are
willing to return to their home country by the end of the year,
the UN refugee agency said on Thursday.
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Kenya Assistant Representative
in Charge of Protection Catherine Hamon Sharpe said that this
figure represents approximately 25 percent of Somalia refugees
"We therefore think that the deadline given by the Kenya
government to close the Dabaab camp in Nov. is not realistic if
the refugees are to be repatriated voluntarily in a dignified
and humane manner," Sharpe said during a panel discussion on
refugee issues in Nairobi.
Sharpe said that they have urged the Kenyan government to
reconsider its decision to close the Dabaab camp.
"We are therefore engaging the Kenyan authorities so that
they extend the voluntary repatriation agreement that expires in
November," she added.
The UN official said that currently 2,000 Somali refugees at
the Dabaab transition camp have signed for voluntary
"However, they can’t leave the camp because the Jubaland (in
southern Somalia) officials have refused to receive them," she
In 2013, the UNHCR, Kenya and Somalia signed a tripartite
agreement for the voluntary repatriation of Kenya-based Somali
refugees back to Somalia.
In 2011 during the Horn of Africa drought, Kenya hosted over
500,000 Somalia refugees, however by December 2014, the figure
had reduced by 100,000.
Sharpe said that since 2014, UNHCR has assisted in the
voluntary repatriation of 28,000 back to Somalia.
Somalia plans to
coordinate stabilization activities
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
The Somali government and its partners have
agreed to harmonize all stabilization programs or activities in
areas recently liberated from Al-Shabaab militants in the Horn
of Africa nation, officials said on Thursday.
The program reached during a two-day conference held in
Mogadishu was aimed at coordinating stabilization efforts
between the government, regional administrations and other key
Head of Stabilization and Early Recovery Working Group of the
African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Dr. Opiyo Ododa said
in a statement issued in Mogadishu that the conference had been
critical in ensuring the adoption of the framework by all
"AMISOM is a key player in issues of stabilization. You
realize that stabilization cannot happen without security and
our major role is to provide security and the space in which
stabilization activities can happen," Ododa said.
"Most of the identified districts in which stabilization
occurs are districts which AMISOM has recovered from Al Shabaab.
It is in these districts that the stabilization programs under
the Wadajir framework are going to be implemented," he said.
The meeting was convened under the Wajadir Framework, which
was launched in March and seeks to support reconciliation, civic
dialogue and the establishment of local governance structures.
Ododa also noted that future stabilization activities would
now be coordinated through the Ministry of Interior and Federal
He said the meeting had enabled the mapping of stabilization
activities and facilitated networking and partnerships, expected
to improve efficiency.
"As AMISOM, the conference has shown us how we can coordinate
all our efforts, especially those dealing with issues of
stabilization," Ododa said.