At least 24,000 refugees from expansive Dadaab camp have so far been assisted to voluntary return to Somalia since a tripartite agreement was signed in 2014, a senior UN official has said.
Speaking during the commissioning of Dadaab power station in Dadaab, Deputy Representative of the United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to Kenya Wella Kouyou said in 2016 alone, 18,000 have voluntary gone back to Somalia.
Earlier this year, the Kenyan government announced that it would shut down the camp, saying it was a terrorist breeding ground.
The country had witnessed a series of attacks instigated by Al-Shabaab terrorists.
One of the deadliest attacks was at the Garissa University College in April 2015 in which over 140 students died.
Mr Kouyou said UNHCR will continue to work with the government to ensure that refugees return to Somalia voluntarily and are accorded safety and dignity.
“We will also make sure that a rehabilitation programme for the refugees is carried out alongside the repatriation process.
We also thank the international community from whom we continually sought support,” he said.
Human rights groups have in the past warned the government against forceful repatriation of refugees to Somalia arguing that the country is not yet stable.
Source:- Daily Nation