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Somalia Today Marks the World Refugee Day

Storyline:National News

World Refugee Day 2018 is on June 20th every year. This is an annual event, held on the same date each year, and 2018 is the 18th year of the event, run by the United Nations Refugee Agency, to state that the world supports and stands with refugees. The event is about raising global awareness of global responsibility for refugees.

Somalia marks the World Refugee Day as the country awaits the repatriation of over 300,000 refugees from neighbouring Kenya. The Horn of Africa nation has an estimated one million refugees in neighboring countries who have fled the country’s decades-long civil conflict.

In response to the decision by Kenya to close the Dadaab refugee camp which hosts about 360,000 Somali refugees, the representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Caroline Van Buren, said the UN agency, together with the two governments, were in discussion to ensure that Somali refugees would be repatriated would be repatriated in accordance with International Human Rights Law, which foresees a voluntary repatriation, facilitated by UNHCR, respective governments and partnering NGOs..

Her comments were supported by the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Somalia, Peter de Clercq, who referred to the Tripartite Agreement, which provides guidance on the return of Somali refugees who have been in camps in Kenya for the last 25 years.

“There’s an existing framework for this: the Tripartite Agreement between Kenya, Somalia and UNHCR. It is very important that this Agreement remains in place beyond November 2016”, said de Clercq.

The event, held in the Somali capital Mogadishu, was attended by government officials, UN agencies, diplomats, non-governmental organisations and a group of refugees from Yemen.

During the ceremony, the Minister of Foreign Affairs from the Federal Government of Somalia, Abdisalam Hadliye Omar, said averages of 43,000 people are forced into becoming refugees’ everyday due to conflict or persecution.

Of the more than one million Somali refugees in the neighbouring countries of Kenya, Ethiopia and Yemen, Omar noted that his government is doing everything possible to bring them back home. “The world needs to address the root causes of this problem. The government of Somalia firmly stands with refugees and believes all should be done by the governments and partner agencies to support them to re-establish their lives,” he added.

Van Buren said she had come with a specific message for refugees in the country who are part of the 65 million people displaced in various parts of the world. “UNHCR is here to help you, to protect you. Obviously, UNHCR cannot do it alone. We do it together.

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