Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Somali Refugees Return Home
NAIROBI, 13 MAY 2003(IRIN)--The first batch of 2,880 Somali refugees who have been accommodated at Dadaab and Kakuma camps in northern Kenya, this week began returning to Somalia, more than a decade after they fled their war-torn country.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR said the return operation kicked off on Tuesday, with the airlift of 50 refugees to Galkayo, northeast Somalia [Puntland state]. The UN refugee agency said it also expected to assist the return of a further 300 refugees to Bosaso and Galkayo over the next five days.

"Ten years is a long time in exile. Some of the children returning to Somalia today will be seeing their homeland for the first time, a sad truth but a happy moment," said George Okoth-Obbo, UNHCR's Representative in Kenya.MORE

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