Tripartite Agreement for Repatriation of Somali Refugees in Kenya

NGOs welcome an agreement with potential to enhance opportunities for Durable Solutions for Somali Refugees

NGOs engaged in the search for durable solutions for Somali refugees in Kenya, congratulate the governments of Somalia and Kenya, and UNHCR for developing the Tripartite Agreement on Somali refugees in Kenya. The Tripartite Agreement is a first and important step towards finding durable solutions for Somali refugees in the region.

It is seen as important that this agreement will further consolidate the existing commitment from the Government of Kenya to preserve protection, the asylum space and respect the principle of ‘voluntary return’ for the almost 500.000 people residing in camps in Kenya. NGOs are committed to support stakeholders in their efforts to preserve the right of Somali refugees to seek asylum, enjoy a dignified life as refugees, and to ensure ongoing protection needs and livelihood opportunities, for example in camps like Dadaab in Kenya while seeking possibilities for a sustainable and dignified repatriation and reintegration in Somalia.

It is of utmost importance governments of Kenya and Somalia to consider benchmarks based on a conducive environment and the viability of return, while safeguarding the global principle of non-refoulement in the implementation of the Tripartite Agreement.

The agencies hope that a common understanding exists among all stakeholders that the current context in Somalia is not conducive for the mass return of refugees. Today, only few pockets of Somalia are safe for return.

The agencies will work in close collaboration with UNHCR Somalia to ensure sustainable reintegration in areas of return, and look forward to continued consultation and engagement in the processes and plans around solutions and the practical implications of the Tripartite Agreement.

Accredited to: International Rescue Committee (IRC), Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), INTERSOS, Action Contra la Faim (ACF), Cooperazione Internazionale (Coopi), Terres Des Hommes, Tear Fund, Handicap International, Lutheran World Foundation (LWF) and Danish Refugee Council (DRC)