Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2016, 08:56 GMT

Somalia: Return of Somalis from refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 19 January 2001
Citation / Document Symbol SOM36219.E
Reference 7
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Somalia: Return of Somalis from refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia, 19 January 2001, SOM36219.E, available at: [accessed 27 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

According to AFP, approximately 3, 271 Somali refugees voluntarily repatriated from Ethiopian refugee camps at the end of December 2000 (2 Jan. 2001). This source claims that nine refugee camps in Ethiopia, particularly, Hartishek, Darwanaji, Teferi Ber, Kamaboker, Rabasso and Daror still house 120, 906 Somali refugees. It does not, however, indicate to which regions the refugees had voluntarily repatriated (ibid.).

UNHCR-assisted voluntary repatriation operations from eastern Ethiopia to Somalia were carried out in 2000 (UNHCR Mid-Year Report 2000; IRIN 7 Nov. 2000; Walta Information Centre 30 June 2000; Xog-Ogaal 7 Mar. 2000).

According to the UNHCR, "improved security condtions, particularly in north-west and north-east Somalia, allowed the return of some 19,200 refugees from neighbouring countries in the first half of the year. Some 18,000 repatriated from camps in Eastern Ethiopia, 950 from camps in Kenya and 270 from Yemen" (Mid-Year Report 2000). The operation from Djibouti to north-west Somalia was suspended as increased tensions between the two parties led to the closure of the border several times and the deployment of armed forces on both sides (ibid.). The repatriation exercise was delayed "by the refugee community in Hartisheik refugee camp in Ethiopia who demanded an increase in their travel grant" (ibid.).

IRIN states that "the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees from eastern Ethiopia to Somali resumed at the end of October, when 3,000 returnees left the eastern Ethiopian camp of Dharwanaji in two convoys for Northwest Somalia, one of the safest and most stables areas in Somalia" (7 Nov. 2000).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Agence France Presse (AFP). 2 January 2001. "3.271 réfugiés somaliens en Ethiopie rapatriés la semaine derniere." (NEXIS)

Integrated Regional Information News (IRIN). 7 November 2000. "Somalia Refugees Again Repatriating from Ethiopia." [Accessed: 10 Jan. 2001]

UNHCR Mid-Year Report 2000. "Somalia." [Accessed: 10 Jan. 2001]

Xog-Ogaal [Mogadishu in Somali]. 7 March. 2000. "Over 1,000 Somaliland Refugees Return from Camps in Eastern Ethiopia." (BBC Summary 7 Mar. 2000/NEXIS)

Walta Information Centre [Addis Ababa in English]. 28 June 2000. "Over 1,000 Somali Refugees Return from Ethiopia "Voluntarily." (BBC Summary 30 June 2000/NEXIS)

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential.

Africa Research Bulletin .

Horn of Africa Bulletin.

The Indian Ocean Newsletter.


Keesing's Record of World Events.

Search engines including,



Internet sites including,

All Africa

Relief Web

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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