Reports Refugee International and appeals for donations after a visit to a camp for returnee Somali refugees in Kismayo
Somalilandsun- Last week, a Refugees International team visited the city of Kismayo, in south-central Somalia, to meet recently returned refugees from the Dadaab camp in Kenya and to assess the humanitarian situation.
Accompanied by his Senior Advocate, Mark Yarnell, the RI president Michel Gabaudan who just returned from the Horn Africa country said “While parts of Somalia have stabilized over recent years, much of the country remains mired in insecurity, and severe climate events, like drought and flooding, continue to force people from their homes.
According the United Nations, there are more than one million Somalis displaced internally and nearly 40 percent of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance. With the Kenyan government’s threat to close the Dadaab camp, it is into this challenging context that refugees are returning.
On May 6th, the Kenyan government announced plans to close the Dadaab refugee camp, home to several hundred thousand Somali refugees, by the end of this year. Since December 2014, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), supported by donor governments, has facilitated the return of 28,000 refugees from Dadaab to Somalia. However, with Kenya’s push to close Dadaab, the voluntary nature of the returns has been called into question.
The majority of returned refugees have arrived in Kismayo, the capital city of the Lower Juba region in Jubaland, Somalia. Kisimayo, once a stronghold of the Al-Shabaab terrorist group, is now controlled by government and African Union soldiers, but just several kilometers outside of the city center, Al-Shabaab remains a potent presence. On August 30th, citing “severe humanitarian challenges,” the Jubaland authorities suspended the reception of new returnees to Kismayo.
The city is home to around 40,000 internally displaced people (IDPs), and with a lack of alternative options, some of the returned refugees have taken up residence in IDP settlements there.
To help ease them back into society in a humane manner Refugees International thankful to all donors individual, corporate and governent appeals for Your continued support to help fight for the future of the people of Somalia.
We so appreciate that you stand with us says the RI president Michael Gabaudan