In Kenya, UNHCR chief discusses solutions for Somali refugees

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António Guterres

"For the first time in over two decades, there is a chance to establish normalcy" in the situation in Somalia, High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres told Kenya's Interior minister on Wednesday.

Guterres met with the Kenyan minister to discuss the situation in Somalia and Kenya's interests in seeing Somali refugees returning home.

He said "Consolidating peace is very challenging and Somalia is fragile, but the process is moving in the right direction".

At the same time, the High Commissioner encouraged the countries in the region to work with UNHCR and refugees themselves to find the best solution for every refugee.

Mr. Guterres told Kenyan officials it is time to move from "care and maintenance" of Somali refugees in their country to solutions "where the return of refugees is fully voluntary, and conducted in safety and dignity."

UNHCR will work with the Governments of Kenya and Somalia to establish a tripartite commission on standards and procedures for voluntary repatriation. Mr. Guterres is planning to propose similar commissions for other major Somali refugee hosting countries. He travels on Thursday to Ethiopia for high-level talks.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’07″

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