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Kenya plans to return refugees

Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ms Amina Mohammed. Kenya is looking at ways of returning home thousands of Somalia refugees on its soil. Photo/File.

By LUCAS BARASA [email protected]
Sunday, June 02, 2013

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Kenya is looking at ways of returning home thousands of Somalia refugees on its soil.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed met with Somalia Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Fawzia Yusuf Adam on Friday and discussed the translocation of the refugees.

A statement from the ministry of Foreign Affairs said the ministers agreed on convening an international conference on Somalia in Nairobi, during which, modalities for the safe and orderly return of Somali refugees would be discussed.

The statement said the meeting was convened on the instruction of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Somalia’s Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

The two ministers were also directed to prepare the ground for a working visit of President Hassan to be hosted by President Kenyatta.

“The two ministers discussed and agreed on a range of issues including the need to cooperate and strengthen border security to address the threats posed by Al-Qaeda/Al-Shabaab insurgents and other armed groups,” the statement said.

The ministers underscored the sense of urgency in providing livelihoods for the refugees to enable them to return home. They called on the international community to provide resources to support the repatriation.

“They discussed and agreed on a number of measures to encourage dialogue between the Federal Government and the local leaders in the Juba regions that would pave the way for the resolution of outstanding issues in accordance with the Igad Communiqué of the 22nd Extra-Ordinary Session of the Igad Heads of State and Government on May 24, 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,” the statement said.

It, however, did not touch on claims that Somalia leadership was unhappy with Kenya for allegedly supporting the formation of Jubaland state.

The Kenyan and Somalia ministers said they would work on modalities for embarking on maritime demarcation.

They also reviewed previous agreements and memoranda of understanding signed between Kenya and Somalia, and their levels of implementation.

“In particular, they underlined the need for technical cooperation in the areas of capacity building and skills transfer. To that end, they decided on a Joint Commission for Cooperation as the principal framework for engagement in the identified priority areas. In conclusion, the two ministers agreed to formally launch the commission on June 2,” the statement said.

The situation in Somalia has improved since 2011 impacting on Kenya, which hosts large numbers of Somali refugees.

Source: Daily Nation

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