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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. "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. It also withdrew its diplomats from Kenya and gave Kenyan diplomats seven days to leave Mogadishu. Issues like the trade imbalance, Khat exports, visa regimes, and border security can be resolved swiftly and effectively if both governments commit to following the recommendations of this technical and bilateral committee. Earlier this year, the Kenyan government announced that all urban refugees must report to refugee camps. 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. In the meantime, Somalia is accusing Kenya of using its military presence in the region to support and maintain a regional government that it considers “unfriendly”. IOM Nairobi facilitates resettlement from Kenya, Burundi, Somalia, South Sudan, Djibouti and Eritrea, to a number of countries including the United States, Canada , Australia, New Zealand, and over 10 European countries, under Government sponsored resettlement projects. Businessman Abukar Hassan Dhakane who has worked in the transport sector for the last 16 years, said that this would have a huge impact on them as a merchant. Today, he is clearly trying to do the same with Kenya. As of April 30, 2017, UNHCR estimated that a… Ethiopia, which has close ties to both countries and has recently played a leading role in the resolution of many regional conflicts, can take steps to bring the two administrations to the negotiating table. The move was seen by many as an attempt by Mogadishu to use Khat as a bargaining chip in its efforts to establish a more balanced trade relationship with Nairobi. It is safe to say this case, whose final hearing is due in March 2021, has influenced how Nairobi treats Mogadishu. Established in 1991 to provide refuge for families fleeing the Somali Civil War, Dadaab consists of four camps: Dagahaley, Hagadera, Ifo, and Ifo 2. Observers think that leaders from both countries need to de-escalate the current tensions. The bottom line is that Somalia and Kenya cannot afford bad blood. The alleged misconduct of the KDF forces is not undermining only the relations between Somalia and Kenya but also regional security. Kenya has vowed to close Dadaab, the largest refugee camp in the world. Researcher and analyst of Somali affairs. Somali refugees in Kenya are facing pressure on multiple fronts. Please make sure to include your name and your country. 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. Dadaab refugee complex consists of three camps. Send Facebook Twitter reddit EMail Facebook Messenger Web Whatsapp Web Telegram linkedin. "Kenya has hosted a huge number of refugees from Somalia, mainly in Garissa county, northeastern Kenya, and Kakuma refugee camp. Somaliland, the northwestern region that declared independence from Somalia in 1991, is another source of conflict between Mogadishu and Nairobi. Somali refugees in Kenya have found themselves facing these questions following the signing of a TA in November 2013 between the governments of Kenya and Somalia and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). ", Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo accuses Kenya of interference. According to the 2019 Kenya census, approximately 2,780,502 ethnic Somalis live in Kenya. For years, Somali refugees have been used as a scapegoat for much of the insecurity and disorder that has plagued Kenya. The Somali Refugees in Kenya! Is Somalia ungrateful to Kenya? 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. In March, however, Somalia practically banned Khat imports from Kenya, citing the spread of COVID-19 as the reason. Majority of refugees and asylum seekers in Kenya originate from Somalia (53.9%). The trade of Khat, a herbal stimulant widely grown in Kenya, is currently at the heart of the trade disagreements between the two nations. Kenya has hosted more than 400,000 Somali refugees for two decades. 42 Somali refugees arrive in Mogadishu in voluntary repatriation program On Dec 6, 2020 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. But the two nations should not be left to deal with this multifaceted dispute on their own. 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. In the end, neither Kenya nor Somalia has much to gain from a protracted conflict. The U.S. has asked Kenya to ensure the return is voluntary and humane. 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. Those severed ties were restored in November last year. Over 267,000 refugees face being returned to war-torn Somalia. Despite all the aforementioned pressure points, the Somali and Kenyan governments need each other to ensure the future security and prosperity of their people. 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. The vast majority of Somali refugees are living in neighboring countries Kenya (256,186), Yemen (250,500) and Ethiopia (192,082). The fact remains that Somalia, as a country, has been politically unstable for much of its post-colonial existence. "In case they failed to act accordingly, then the Somali government as a sovereign nation has every right to take such a decision, and this will result in new negotiations between the two countries.". “Kenya has hosted a huge number of refugees from Somalia, mainly in Garissa county, northeastern Kenya, and Kakuma refugee camp. Eastleigh, Kenya – In a restaurant in Eastleigh, a noisy Nairobi suburb, Shariff Omar, a Kenyan Somali, reaches for a brown folder. "Kenya has hosted a huge number of refugees from Somalia, mainly in Garissa county, northeastern Kenya, and Kakuma refugee camp. A diplomatic spat between Kenya and Somalia is now affecting trade, particularly Somalis living in Kenya. We are brothers and sisters, we are neighbors, so it is good that we maintain the security of this nation," Njau added. Somali refugees look through a barbwire fence in Dagahale, one of the several refugee settlements in Dadaab, Garissa County, northeastern Kenya in 2013. Even though movement in and out of the camps are banned, aid agencies have been exempted. “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. 4. Amnesty International calls on the Kenyan government, the UNHCR and the international community to stop these forced returns and offer alternative, sustainable and rights-respecting solutions. … They face violations to their human rights, discrimination and there is no humanitarian authority to protect them from the Kenyan police harassment. Farmajo’s government and supporters are also pushing the narrative that opposition groups in the country contesting his presidential bid are pro-Kenya and hence “traitors”. 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. a war zone. 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. Dadaab refugee camp, one of the world's biggest, hosts at least 300,000 Somali refugees. Despite having internal displacement and refugee crises of their own, countries like Yemen and Ethiopia have a long-standing history of welcoming refugees from Somalia. Moreover, rather than acting as if all of the regional state’s problems are tied to Kenya, they should treat the issue as a domestic one. Mar 9, 2014 - Explore Asha's Refuge's board "Somali Refugees" on Pinterest. And what will happen to the Somali refugees in Kenya? We hope this will end well.". A second large influx occurred in 2011, when some 130,000 refugees arrived, fleeing drought and famine in … The Horn of Africa has not known peace since the fall of dictator Siad Barre in 1991. There is still a clear path to peaceful coexistence and neighbourly cooperation and the two nations should get on it before its too late. 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. Brexit gives the Tories a free hand to dismantle workers’ rights, Trump’s speech that ‘incited’ Capitol violence: Full transcript, Trump approves state of emergency declaration in US capital, A ‘bad sign’: World leaders and officials blast Twitter Trump ban, FBI warns of armed protests leading up to Biden swearing in, Al Jazeera Centre for Public Liberties & Human Rights. A similar committee can also be formed to resolve problems between the KDF, Somali forces and local administrations. This time, policymakers and domestic and international rights activists have noted with grave concern Kenya’s recent revocation of prima facie refugee status for Somalis, who constitute two-thirds of the nearly 600,000 refugees in Kenya. However, Njau also added that "Kenya should respect Somalia's sovereignty and stop political meddling. Kenya Interior Ministry Representative said that this is the time for Somali refugees to safely return home. The refugees left Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp in eastern Kenya, last week but they have been told by the International Organization for Migration that their Monday flights have been cancelled “because of Trump’s orders,” said Suleiman Yusuf, a Somali refugee who is a teacher. Kenya accused of breaking international law for forcibly repatriating Somali refugees The return of Somali refugees is 'no longer voluntary, dignified nor safe,' an aid agency has said. Kenya hosts a large asylum-seeking and refugee population, which at present is managed jointly by the country’s Department of Refugee Affairs (DRA) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) under the 2006 Refugees Act and the 2009 Refugees Regulations. Kenya, on the other hand, hosts hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees and is home to a large population of ethnic Somalis. Somali refugees living in camps in Kenya are in limbo because of US President Donald Trump’s immigration ban. UNHCR faces a major challenge in finding solutions for newly arrived Somalia refugees in Kenya. Local authorities in Jubaland claim Mogadishu is seeking to remove the state’s President Ahmed Madobe, a key ally of Nairobi, and put a loyalist in power to increase central control. Samuel L. Aronson puts it in simple words in the journal “Somali Refugees in Kenya: Security Deficiencies and Public Health Concerns as a Result of Ineffective Policy” by stating that the Kenyan government was required to accept refugees due to the fact that it is a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and Kenya also ratified the 1969 OAU Convention planning to refugees. Thousands of Somali refugees who were pressured into leaving the Dadaab camp in Kenya are now facing drought, starvation and renewed displacement in Somalia, Amnesty International said today. Kenya has lost a lot of soldiers fighting al-Shabab Islamists." Somali Refugees Facing Camps Crisis! The Somali authorities, rather than taking punitive measures against Kenya such as expelling its ambassador, should directly discuss their grievances over the issue with Kenya’s leaders. 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). [73] Although the camps' infrastructure … More broadly, UNHCR has projected total multi-year resettlement needs for 151,416 Somali refugees in Kenya and Ethiopia – … “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. If Mogadishu manages to come to an understanding with the Jubaland administration through peaceful consensus building and dialogue, Kenya will automatically find itself unable to intervene in the situation and the problem will resolve itself. 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. 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. 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