Somalia: Refugees pressured to leave Dadaab return to insecurity, drought and hunger
In a new briefing, Not Time to Go Home, Amnesty International researchers interviewed returnees living in dire conditions in overcrowded cities or displacement camps in Somalia.
In its zeal to return refugees the Kenyan government has made much of small security improvements in Somalia, but the grim reality is that many parts of the country are still plagued by violence and poverty Charmain Mohamed, Head of Refugee and Migrants Rights at Amnesty International Many returnees said they had left Dadaab because of dwindling food rations and services, or because of fears, stoked by Kenyan government officials, that they would be forced back with no assistance.
“Refugees who fled drought, conflict and hunger in Somalia were coerced into returning in the midst of a severe humanitarian crisis, and many now find themselves back in the same hopeless situation from which they fled and still unable to go home.
“Until there is a significant improvement in humanitarian conditions, the Kenyan government must focus on providing continued protection to Somali refugees.
In the midst of this insecurity, the humanitarian situation in Somalia continues to deteriorate.
She told Amnesty International that the water available in Baidoa is both unsafe and prohibitively expensive: “The biggest problem that we have in the area is water.
Somalia is also experiencing serious food insecurity and most returnees rely on assistance packages and humanitarian aid to obtain food.
He told Amnesty International: “If you visit our homes you will see people who have eaten nothing for at least three days.” Because many returnees cannot return to their original homes, accessing shelter is also a major problem.
In November 2017, the UN refugee agency UNHCR’s appeal for its refugee response in Kenya was only 29% funded.
As hunger, disease and violence close in on returnees in Somalia, the need for true responsibility sharing has never been clearer Amnesty International is calling on the international community to provide adequate technical and financial assistance to the government of Kenya, to support sustainable and long-term solutions for the integration of refugees in the country.