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Repatriation restarted to north-west Somalia

Briefing notes

Repatriation restarted to north-west Somalia

18 June 1999

UNHCR this week restarted its return operation to north-west Somalia from Ethiopia with two convoys between Hartisheik refugee camp and Hargeisa. A first group of 689 Somali returnees made the trip Monday, followed by a second convoy yesterday with another 996 returnees.

The operation way suspended last November by authorities in north-west Somalia during discussions on the administration of the reintegration programme. Almost 60,000 refugees had come home from camps in Jijiga since late 1997.

UNHCR will operate three convoys a week until December and plans on repatriating 60,000 people during the year. Ethiopia still hosts around 200,000 Somali refugees.