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Commission created to help repatriate Somali refugees from Kenya

Nov. 11, 2013 at 6:05 PM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Kenya and Somalia have signed an agreement that creates a repatriation commission, the first step in convincing thousands of Somali refugees to return home.

Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto said the commission will be charged with creating a framework that allows for the voluntary repatriation of Somalis so "they can go back and participate in their communities and in building their country," Capital FM in Nairobi reported Sunday.

Fawzia Yusuf Adan, Somalia's deputy premier and foreign affairs minister, said some peace had been restored in the country, enabling the refugees to return home.

She added Somalia would work with other nations to create "conditions conducive for the return" of the refugees, including administrative, judicial and security measures.

More than 560,000 Somalis live in refugee camps in Kenya. Some residents have lived in the camps for more than 20 years.

The repatriation plan is expected to last three years.

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