Kenya: Tanzanians accept transfer offer

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond to whom quoted text may be attributed at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Tanzanian refugees from the islands of Pemba and Zanzibar have accepted a transfer from a temporary site in the coastal Kenyan town of Shimoni to the Dadaab refugee camps in the country's north-east. Around 300 refugees left Shimoni early this morning aboard six UNHCR buses for Dadaab.

The convoy will take two days to cover the more than 600 km spending tonight in the town of Garissa. UNHCR has arranged for meals and medical care for the refugees en route.

Until now, 1,300 refugees refused to be moved away from Shimoni further into Kenya, hoping that negotiations between the opposition Civic United Front and the Tanzanian government would result in an agreement that would allow them to go back to the islands. But the talks ended without agreement, prompting the refugees to accept the transfer.