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UNHCR Operational Update - Dadaab, Kenya, August 2019

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Kenya
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UNHCR
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The first camp in Dadaab was established in 1991. There are 3 camps in Dadaab: Hagadera,
Dagahaley and Ifo.

Kambioos refugee camp was closed on 31st March 2017 and Ifo2 refugee camp was closed on 31st May 2018.

Since December 2014, Somali refugees who decide to voluntarily return to their home country, receive UNHCR support in Kenya and Somalia.

Voluntary Repatriation

During the reporting period three repatriation flights were organized to Somalia (two to Mogadishu and one to Baidoa). A total of 130 individuals comprising of 43 households were assisted to voluntarily return to Somalia, (85 returned to Mogadishu and 45 to Baidoa). This brings total of refugees facilitated to repatriate to Somalia this year to 1,592 individuals.

The communitive figure of refugees facilitated to voluntarily repatriate to Somalia, from Dadaab refugee operations since the beginning of the process in 2014 to now has reached 80,628 individuals.

All return movements both flights and road convoy to Kismayo (biggest return destination) remain temporarily suspended since 13th of July 2019 following explosions and gun attacks in Kismayo and tension in Jubaland Region linked to the contested results of the election. This came at a time when resumption of road convoy was planned on the 17th of July 2019, after it was halted for more than nine months. Majority of refugees who expressed interest to return, hail from Kismayo. Therefore, this suspension will have significant impact on the number of refugees returning to Somalia. Meanwhile, the flights option will be utilized to transport returnees to Mogadishu and Baidoa.

A mission from UNHCR Somalia visited the Dadaab refugee camps between 26th and 28th August 2019 with the objective of having discussions on the voluntary repatriation programme and understand return dynamics and challenges in the process. The mission had a discussion with the refugee leadership and those willing to return to Somalia. The common issue raised as a challenge was access to basic social services inside Somalia. UNHCR Somalia noted that assistance to returnees in Somalia is under the cluster approach which is also dealing with IDPs and returns from countries in the region.

In the meantime UNHCR Kenya and Somalia agreed to strengthen coordination and improve on updating Country of Origin information.