Returns to Somalia from Dadaab have massively accelerated since the Kenyan government announced plans to close the camp in May 2016. Mar 9, 2014 - Explore Asha's Refuge's board "Somali Refugees" on Pinterest. Kenya has ordered all urban-based Somali refugees to move into designated camps because of "emergency security challenges", a minister says. “I was happy to go back home when I was assured of good security, education and food,” he said. More than 500,000 Somali refugees in Kenya are to be given the opportunity to return home after the UN refugee agency signed a tripartite agreement with the two countries' governments. Neither Somalia nor Kenya can afford the multifaceted dispute that led to the severance of ties turning into a protracted crisis. The trade of Khat, a herbal stimulant widely grown in Kenya, is currently at the heart of the trade disagreements between the two nations. Got an opinion about the stories making headlines? The Somali government openly condemned Kenya for destroying the towers, even though the authorities in Nairobi continue to deny any involvement in the attacks. We hope this will end well.". In Eastleigh, a neighborhood in the capital Nairobi popular with Somalis and Kenyans of Somali descent, there are fears that the sour relations between the two neighbors will grossly affect their businesses. "Before the diplomatic rift, we used to send each day four cargo flights to Mogadishu, but the flights are now limited to one only. We use cookies to improve our service for you. While the Somali authorities have not yet disclosed the specific reasons behind their decision to cut diplomatic ties with Kenya, there are several well-known tension points in the two countries’ relations that likely paved the way for the move. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which counts both Somalia and Kenya among its members, can also help bring the dispute to an end. "We have a lot of commonality between these two countries," said Oguna. Neither Somalia nor Kenya can afford the dispute turning into a protracted crisis: The two East African nations share a long land border and have strong socioeconomic ties. Other major nationalities are South Sudanese (24.7%), Congolese (9%); Ethiopians (5.8%). Treatment of Somali refugees in Kenya. But his family members weren’t refugees, and they weren’t born in Somalia – they were born in Kenya, and he says his father faked their refugee status in the 1990s to get into the US. The Kakuma camp also hosts some 44,000 Somali refugees. On November 30, Somalia expelled Kenya’s ambassador and recalled its own envoy from Nairobi, accusing Kenya of interfering in the electoral process in the state. "Unlike before, Kenyan citizens have to apply for visas at the Somali embassy in Nairobi, which leaves a huge burden on our business," Hassan Dhakane told DW. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance. Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) serving under AMISOM in Somalia are facing criticism for allegedly targeting Somali telecommunications towers, which are crucial to the local economy as they are used not only for communication but also for monetary transactions, under the guise of trying to break al-Shabab’s communication channels. Even though movement in and out of the camps are banned, aid agencies have been exempted. The Somali Refugees in Kenya! The huge 2008 increase in Somali refugees entering Kenya has placed a massive strain on Dadaab's refugee camps. They can still choose the path of diplomatic sanity, engage in talks, and prevent a physical confrontation that would be devastating not only for their own nations but also for the wider region. Today, he is clearly trying to do the same with Kenya. In the end, neither Kenya nor Somalia has much to gain from a protracted conflict. Kenya hosts the largest number of Somali refugees (more than 313,000 as of April 2017), most of concentrated in the Dadaab Refugee Complex, in Garissa County near the Somali border. See more ideas about somali refugees, somali, refugee. As of early October 2011, there were some 908,000 Somali refugees registered in neighbouring countries, with Kenya hosting some 511,000 – more than half. Moi exclaimed that, “although Kenya showed hospitality by accommodating refugees from Somalia, they [refugees] abused their welcome by bringing illegal firearms into the country.” He went on to say that “Somalis were to blame for the current state of insecurity in Kenya” (Murunga 2005). Known as the African Union Mission in Somalia, the forces are meant to stabilise the country and work under the mandate of the UN Security Council. The two countries are also having disputes in the security arena. Is Somalia ungrateful to Kenya? We are brothers and sisters, we are neighbors, so it is good that we maintain the security of this nation," Njau added. Refugee Agency. “Kenya, it should be noted, is a Troop-Contributing Country to AMISOM, and hosts a large community of Somali refugees,” Faki said referring to the African Union forces in Somalia, to which Kenya Defence Forces have sent troops. The Somali Refugees in Kenya! In May 2016, Kenya announced that "hosting refugees has to come to an end", that Somali asylum seekers would no longer automatically get refugee status and … Prior to the 2016 election, Farmaajo presented Ethiopia as an enemy that only he can successfully confront and this narrative helped him obtain the presidency. Most Somali refugees flee to Kenya’s northeastern Dadaab, located in Garissa County, while most people fleeing armed conflict in South Sudan arrive in Kenya’s northern Kakuma, the UNHCR said. And what will happen to the Somali refugees in Kenya? These refugees are part of a program for Somali refugees in Kenya to voluntarily return home. Refugee Agency. In May, the government vowed to close the Dadaab refugee camp by the end of … ", Kenya contributes a huge peacekeeping force in Somalia. The trade bloc already started putting pressure on Somalia to resolve its diplomatic tiff with Kenya during its 38th Extraordinary Assembly in late December and convinced Mogadishu to “take the first steps” to resolve the dispute. Send us a text at +49-160-9575 9510. International SMS charges apply. Established in 1991 to provide refuge for families fleeing the Somali Civil War, Dadaab consists of four camps: Dagahaley, Hagadera, Ifo, and Ifo 2. Juliet Njau, a Kenyan national, told DW that Somalia is ungrateful for the support her country has provided to Somali refugees and its efforts to bring peace to Somalia. It is safe to say this case, whose final hearing is due in March 2021, has influenced how Nairobi treats Mogadishu. Many believe this was the main reason behind the latest escalation in tensions. Kenya has lost a lot of soldiers fighting al-Shabab Islamists." The U.S. has asked Kenya to ensure the return is voluntary and humane. At the end of the visit, the two leaders announced closer relations in a joint statement, with Kenya committing to opening a consulate in Somaliland by the end of March. Legal notice | Refugee Population in Kenya As of 31 December 2013, the total number of registered refugees and asylum-seekers with UNHCR in Kenya stood at 587,223. An estimated 219,000 Somali civil war refugees have been living in Kenya's Dadaab refugee complex, one of the world's largest refugee camps, since 1991, according to the U.N. DADAAB, Kenya, 25 July 2011 – Driving the nearly 100 kilometre sand road from the Somali border to the refugee camps in Dadaab, Kenya, is like an otherworldly odyssey across an … The Somali refugee population in Kenya stands at 265,811 out of the overall 494,585 registered refugees and asylum seekers in the country. The dispute now rests with the International Court of Justice, but Kenya is still trying to reach an out of court settlement. It has also invested heavily in Somalia’s post-conflict reconstruction and hosted several conferences that played an important role in the success of peace-building efforts in Somalia. . Domestic politics has also played a role in Somalia’s decision to sever diplomatic ties with Kenya. However, Njau also added that "Kenya should respect Somalia's sovereignty and stop political meddling. Kenya has vowed to close Dadaab, the largest refugee camp in the world. These ethnic Somalis are distinct from the Bantus and other minorities of Somalia, who according to USAID constitute most of the estimated 413,170 refugees from Somalia in Kenya. It also withdrew its diplomats from Kenya and gave Kenyan diplomats seven days to leave Mogadishu. If they are to move beyond this crisis and build a strong neighbourly alliance, a massive paradigm shift in the way the two countries relate to each other is needed. A Kenyan Somali refugees claim they are denied citizenship rights. The return of Somali refugees is 'no longer voluntary, dignified nor safe,' an aid agency has said. The move brought the long-simmering tensions between the two neighbours to the surface and ushered in a tinderbox situation that will have wide-reaching geopolitical ramifications if not resolved quickly. 42 Somali refugees returned to the Horn of African country from Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya as part of the voluntary repatriation program on Saturday. The Somali diaspora also has significant investments in Kenya due to the relatively favourable working and market conditions in the country. Observers think that leaders from both countries need to de-escalate the current tensions. Over 267,000 refugees face being returned to war-torn Somalia. The alleged misconduct of the KDF forces is not undermining only the relations between Somalia and Kenya but also regional security. At present, Kenya is the country, where largest proportions of the Somali refugees are seeking shelter. Other African powers and regional bodies should also move to put pressure on Somalia and Kenya to swiftly restore their diplomatic relations and resolve their grievances through dialogue. With the severance of diplomatic ties, it became clear that the “wait-and-see” attitude both countries assumed in regards to their bilateral problems is not working. Somali children repatriated from Kenya’s Dadaab camp play in a camp for displaced people in Mogadishu. a war zone. A second large influx occurred in 2011, when some 130,000 refugees arrived, fleeing drought and famine in … Somali refugees have fled to Kenya in significant numbers since the early 1990s. Somali refugees in Kenya are facing pressure on multiple fronts. More than 46,000 Somali refugees living in the Kenyan capital city of Nairobi are unregistered refugees. Earlier this year, the Kenyan government announced that all urban refugees must report to refugee camps. Kenya has lost a lot of soldiers fighting al-Shabab Islamists. With the help of a U.N. voluntary repatriation program, he returned to Somalia after spending all his teenage years in Kenya’s sprawling Dadaab refugee resettlement. 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