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Somali refugees’ return lacks int’l standards –Rights group

Comfort Whitfield/Benjamin S. Taingay
The Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth
The Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth

MONROVIA, LIBERIA-Human Rights Watch (HRW) says repatriating Somali refugees from the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya fails to meet international standards for voluntary return.

Human Rights Watch also said many of those returning to Somalia are motivated by fear of being forced out of the camp.

Tens of thousands of refugees have been making the journey back home after years in the camp.

Both Kenya and Somalia say it is time Dadaab was shut down, but HRW says Kenya is not giving the refugees a real choice between being repatriated or staying.

It also said the UN Refugee arm, the UNHCR, is not giving the refugees accurate information about security conditions in Somalia and they face serious risk of prosecution o9r threats to their lives, if they return.

The organization further noted that pressuring refugees to return to a place where their lives or freedom could be under threat is a breach of the 1951 Refugee Convention.



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