UN to help 135,000 Somali refugees return home

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, October 23, 2015
Posted in category Africa, Africa News
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Brussels – The head of the UN refugee agency, Antonio Guterres, on Wednesday launched a plan to return home 135,000 Somalis who have fled their country torn by conflict, calling on donors to establish 500 million of $ to finance the operation.

“It is the responsibility of the international community to fully support Somalia right now, to make sure that the history of Somalia will be a success story, to ensure that Somalis back,” Guterres said a donors’ conference in Brussels.

He reminded the conference, attended by the EU’s head of foreign affairs Federica Mogherini and senior Kenyan and Somali officials, the Somalis were also among the hundreds of thousands who crossed the Mediterranean to seek safety Europe.

The EU has pledged € 60 million for UNHCR, part of its own efforts against the crisis of migrants’ countries of origin to get across the Middle East and Africa to resume their people.
Safety and dignity

War and unrest in Somalia has displaced more than two million people, with some 420,000 fleeing to Kenya, while another 250,000 are in Ethiopia and about the same number in Yemen, according to UNHCR figures.

UNHCR says it has helped 5,300 Somalis return home since the end of 2014 in cooperation with Kenya and Somalia.

Guterres said the numbers could now be increased after “tangible signs of stabilization” at least in some parts of Somalia.

“We are now ready to move to the enhanced phase of this operation that aims to help 135,000 refugees to return to Somalia … [in] a voluntary repatriation in safety and dignity,” he told the conference.

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