20-Feb-2020 00:04:33
A group of 76 Ethiopian refugees have voluntarily returned home from Kenya’s Kakuma camp on Wednesday (19 Feb). This marks the first major voluntary repatriation program for Ethiopian refugees in the country.UNHCR
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1. Med shot, woman looking out at airstrip runway as plane arrives
2. Wide shot, refugees checking in
3. Close up, Fathi Osman, Ethiopian refugee with her little sister
4. Med shot, staff registering luggage
5. Med shot, Fathi at check in area
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Fathi Osman, Ethiopian Refugee:
“I came here in 2009, I was very young. I dint know how to write and how to read, that’s why I came here in Kenya. Kenya has been good to us, So I cannot forget Kenyan, but I am going home.”
7. Med shot, refugees in waiting area
8. Med shot, UNHCR staff checking in refugees
9. Wide shot, refugees’ documents being checked
10. Med shot, UNHCR Head of Sub Office, Kakuma, Ignazio Matteini talking to Fathi
11. Close up, Fathi Osman
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Ignazio Matteini, Head of Sub Office, Kakuma, UNHCR:
“She’s aware of the difficulties that are coming. The main issue is schooling, and school is the most important thing. She’s been studying English and Kiswahili here, should have to learn how to write and communicate in Somali. It’s a new challenge for her and its one the different challenges that the people that go back home find. But UNHCR is also there, is also at the place of return and our colleagues will support them in ensuring that they are able to reintegrate in a society they left many years ago.”
13. Various shots, refugees in camp waving at refugees leaving
14. Various shots, refugees walking to board plane
15. Med shot, refugees boarding plane
16. Close up, view of refugees waiting to board through plane window
17. Med shot, refugees on plane
18. Wide shot, final checks on plane before departure
19. Aerial shot, plane leaving Kakuma


20. Med shot, UNHCR staff on runway receiving flight carrying refugees returning home
21. Wide shot, returnees disembarking from plane
22. Med shot, UNHCR staff helping returnees with luggage
23. Close up, sign reading “Welcome Home”
24. Med shot, UNHCR Ethiopia Representative, Ann Encontre speaking to returnees at airport
25. Wide shot, representative briefing refugees
26. SOUNDBITE (English) Ann Encontre, Ethiopia Representative, UNHCR:
“There is a fundamental right for all refugees to return home when they choose to do so. They come home and establish themselves in the families, in the villages where they had to flee from and UNHCR is really happy today.”
Various of refugees having a meal
27. Wide shot, refugees at airport
28. Close up, official writing on a piece of paper
29. SOUNDBITE (Somali) Abdirashid Mohumed, Ethiopian Returnee:
“I am very happy to be back home and to have the full rights to be a citizen of my country. There is a huge difference between being a refugee and being a at home. In your country, you can get what you work for, but if you are away from your country, being a refugee, being in a camp, in a confined area, you cannot exercise your full rights. But being home is enough, I am very happy to be in my country.”
30. SOUNDBITE (Somali) Ardo Hassan, Ethiopian Returnee:
“Earlier this morning I was a refugee and that was the last time. Were no longer refugees, we are happy.”
31. Wide shot, bags on carrousel
32. Close up, face of young boy
33. Med shot, returnees at airport
34. Close up, young returnee smiling
A group of 76 Ethiopian refugees have voluntarily returned home from Kenya’s Kakuma camp on Wednesday (19 Feb). This marks the first major voluntary repatriation program for Ethiopian refugees in the country.

The movement, supported by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the governments of Ethiopia and Kenya, is part of a growing trend of thousands of Ethiopian refugees in the region who are voluntarily choosing to return to back to their country, following recent developments.

The majority of those returning originate from Ethiopia’s Somali region and had been living in exile for up to 12 years. More than half are women and girls, with some having been born and raised in Kakuma.

The returnees were flown from Kakuma to the eastern Ethiopian city of Dire Dawa in two UNHCR-chartered flights. They will travel onwards by road to Jijiga, capital of the Somali Region.

UNHCR is providing returnees with a reintegration package in the form of cash assistance which also includes transportation allowances to ensure they can travel to their places of origin.

The return is a significant milestone in the quest to provide solutions to one of Africa’s protracted refugee situations, follows a previous repatriation in June 2019 in which 94 Ethiopian refugees were assisted to return home from Sudan.

More voluntary return movements from Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps are expected in the coming months. To date more than 10,000 Ethiopian refugees in regional and neighboring countries, have expressed to UNHCR their intention to return home, including those hosted in Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen.
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