The UNHRC has resumed voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees from Kenya after a month- long suspension due to bad weather conditions. The UN High Commission for Refugees said in its latest update that voluntary return movements resumed on June 9, with a total of 265 returnees from the Dadaab camp complex arriving safely in Somalia. The UNHCR said the total number of returnees provided with return support packages since December 2014 is now 2,313 individual.
The repatriation is being done through a framework agreed upon in a tripartite agreement among Kenya, Somalia and the UNHCR. There are an estimated 423,244 Somali refugees in Kenya and the Kenyan government has announced plans to repatriate 100,000 refugees by the end of this year. Dadaab refugee camp, currently home to some 350,000 people, is the largest refugee settlement in the world, the majority being Somalis. The UNHCR said the voluntarily return process is being strengthened and new returns areas were announced on June 4 to allow more refugees who have expressed their desire to return to do so. These include Mogadishu, Jowhar, Afgoye, Baledweyne, Wanlaweyn, and Balcad, in addition to the existing areas of return – Kismayo, Baidoa and Luuq.