Somali refugees being repatriated voluntarily from the Dadaab refugee camp in north eastern Kenya have been given US 2000 (approx.UGX7 million) per family to facilitate resettlement in their home country.
According to reports, a total of 180 refugees drawn from different camps left for Dobley in Somalia aboard buses to the Liboi border point where UN refugee agency and the Somali government will take over their transport home.
The repatriation follows the Kenyan government’s decision to close refugee camps in the country including Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp in the East African country, set up more than 20 years ago to house people fleeing conflict in Somalia..
Those who left were destined to Kismayu, Baidayo and Luuq in Sothern Somalia, and are provided with information about places they are going to resettle.
Meanwhile, Kenya, UNHCR and Somalia have laid down plans to repatriate about 150,000 Somali refugees by the end of 2016.
The plan was revealed last week in a statement issued after the Tripartite Commission for the Voluntary Repatriation of Somali refugees in Kenya held a meeting over the weekend.
The commission consists of officials from Kenya, Somalia and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR). The statement said the voluntary repatriation has seen the return of more than 16,000 Somali refugees to date, and will be implemented with continued support from Kenya, Somalia and the partners.
The Dadaab closure process will also involve the identification of non-Somali refugees who will be taken to Kenya’s Kakuma camp and local citizens who live in the camp will obtain humanitarian assistance.