Return of Somali refugees "a positive indicator": UN envoyListen /
The return of Somali refugees to their country is a positive indicator that there is security in the Horn of Africa country, says the top the United Nations envoy in Somalia Augustine Mahiga.
There are reports that every day five planes carrying over 100 passengers each are landing in Mogadishu from Kenya.
The return comes after the election of the President of Somalia in September last year and the campaign by Somali forces, supported by African Union peacekeepers to take back parts of Somalia from the Al Shabaab militants.
Mr. Mahiga says the return of the refugees is spontaneous and most of them are not from the main refugee camps such as Daadab and Kakuma in Kenya which house hundreds of thousands of refugees.
"They are mainly from some of the urban areas like Nairobi, Mombasa and some of the towns in the north-eastern part of Kenya. It is a positive indicator that there is security in Somalia and the political situation is permitting and they want to participate in that process. On the other hand, it poses a great challenge to the government. There is a great shortage of accommodation and housing and basic services like health and education." (Duration: 27")
Augustine Mahiga says some of the refugees are from the Diaspora, including North America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.