UNSOM / KEATING DADAAB REFUGEES

12-Apr-2018 00:05:02
Meeting residents of the world’s largest camp for Somali refugees, located in north-eastern Kenya, the top United Nations official for Somalia today expressed his solidarity with their situation and highlighted the gradual progress made in their home country. UNSOM

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STORY: UNSOM / KEATING DADAAB REFUGEES
TRT: 5:02
SOURCE: UNSOM
RESTRICTION: PLEASE CREDIT UNSOM
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 12 APRIL 2018, DADAAB, KENYA
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia alights from a chartered flight at Dadaab Airstrip, in northern eastern Kenya
2. Med shot, Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia is received by UNHCR officials
3. Wide shot, the SRSG’s convoy snakes its way to the Dadaab Refugee Camp
4. Med shot, the convoy arrives at the camp
5. Wide shot, refugees at the camp
6. Med shot, refugees at the camp
7. Wide shot, Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia listens to refugees speak
8. Med shot, Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia listens to refugees speak
9. Wide shot, Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia with refugees at the camp
10. Close up, Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia with refugees at the camp
11. Wide shot, Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia touring the camp
12. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia:
“It is very important that they take decisions to go back on a voluntary basis; they can’t be forced to go back. But they are watching the situation, very very carefully and weighing up their options.”
13. Wide shot, Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia tours IFO Camp Hospital
14. Med shot, Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia tours IFO Camp Hospital
15. Close up, Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia tours IFO Camp Hospital
16. Med shot, Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia tours IFO Camp Hospital
17. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia:
“I am struck that over 80-percent of the people who are returning to Somalia are from that second group, you know they have decided most of them that they can go back. But the ones who have been here 27 years - some of them are second, even third generation refugees. And of course, their links with families and their communities are much weaker, and so, it’s a much bigger decision for them to leave the relative security of a refugee camp.”
18. Wide shot, Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia at IFO Camp
19. Close up, Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia at IFO Camp
20. Med shot, Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia at IFO Camp
21. Med shot, Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia at IFO Camp
22. Wide shot, Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia at IFO Camp
23. Wide shot, Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia arrives for a meeting with the refugees’ leaders and representatives at the Vocational Training Centre, VEP
24. Wide shot, Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia in a meeting with the refugees’ leaders and representative
25. Med shot, Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia in a meeting with the refugees’ leaders and representatives
26. Close up, Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia in a meeting with the refugees’ leaders and representatives
27. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia:
“As important is my message to refugees here is what I am taking back to Mogadishu. I will talk to the government, both in Mogadishu and around the country, and I will say listen, this is what refugees are saying. I mean, they would like to come back, but these are the kind of things that are worrying them - education, security in terms of where they will live, security in terms of protection from attacks; they want to know whether there are job prospects; they have these skills - I just met electricians; met people who are trying to learn in the hospitality industry; how can we create way in which they can make a contribution.”
28. Med shot, UNHCR officials and refugees’ leaders
29. Close up, a refugee at the camp
30. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia:
“My message is that while every refugee has to take decisions on whether to return on a voluntary basis – and I don’t think its anybody’s job to force them or give them a PR job on this – for what it’s worth, my opinion is that things are gradually getting better in Somalia. We have a state, we have a federal structure, there are big efforts to try and improve security – yes, Al Shabaab remains a potent threat – but economic activity is picking up and things are, in a non-linear way, getting better, and therefore they should take into account some of the more positive things that are going on, not just the negative things, while continuing to listen to the people they trust in terms of taking that ultimate decision.
31. Wide shot, Refugees’ representatives meeting with Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia
STORYLINE
Meeting residents of the world’s largest camp for Somali refugees, located in north-eastern Kenya, the top United Nations official for Somalia today expressed his solidarity with their situation and highlighted the gradual progress made in their home country.

“Every refugee has to take decisions on whether to return on a voluntary basis. Each has his or her own sources of information, including family, friends and the media. But sometimes the news emphasizes the negative, including stories about violence and drought. In my opinion – as the mother of a family that is about to return just told me – things are gradually getting better in Somalia,” the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Michael Keating, said at the end of his visit to the Dadaab refugee complex.

“There is now a stronger state, a federal structure, there are big efforts to try and improve security – yes, Al Shabaab remains a potent threat – but economic activity is picking up and things are, in a non-linear way, getting better,” he added.

The Dadaab refugee complex currently has a population of 226,472 registered refugees and asylum seekers. Some 96 per cent of the residents of the four camps that make up the complex are Somali.

The first camp was established in 1991, when refugees fleeing the civil war in Somalia started to cross the border into neighbouring Kenya. A second large influx occurred in 2011, when some 130,000 refugees arrived, fleeing drought and famine in southern Somalia.

“I’m struck that over 80 per cent of the people who have returned to Somalia are from that second group. They’ve decided, most of them, that they can go back,” Mr. Keating said. “But of the ones who’ve been here for 27 years, some of them are second-and even third-generation refugees. Their links with extended family and communities are much weaker, and so it’s a much harder decision for them to leave the relative security of a refugee camp.”

Operations in the complex are coordinated by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and Dadaab’s refugee population has fallen from 463,427 people in 2011, primarily as a result of both spontaneous and facilitated returns, as well as voluntary repatriations.

The UN refugee agency, along with its partners, and with the support of the Kenyan government and host community, has for 27 years provided all essential services for the refugees, ranging from food and health, to shelter, sanitation and education.

During his visit, the Special Representative met with both those working to help the refugees, including staff from UNHCR and a range of partners such as the Norwegian Refugee Council and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

“The work they are doing is all the more impressive given the enormous pressure on budgets and cuts in levels of support,” he said.

The UN official also met with a range of camp residents, including long-term residents, elders and youth, and some on the verge of returning to Somalia.

“The dignity and courage of the refugees here is deeply moving. It has been great to listen to their views and hopes for the future. A consistent theme is that while many believe that things are slowly improving – slightly depending on where they come from inside Somalia – they’re still worried about security, they’re worried about the opportunity to get jobs, and I’m very struck by the emphasis on education, education for their kids, “Mr. Keating said of his exchanges with refugees.

“Like parents everywhere, those I met want the best possible education for their children – and they just don’t think that’s available inside Somalia. Some of the students I met said the same,” he said. “There is also scope to link education and vocational training here to opportunities and needs inside Somalia.”

The UN official, who also heads the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), emphasized that his visit was a two-way exchange, and that what he heard today was useful for his work and engagement with authorities in Somalia.

“It’s not my job to lecture refugees – I’m here more to listen to them and then take their messages back and factor them in, in terms of how we think about moving forward in Somalia,” Mr. Keating said.
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