AFRICA/SOMALIA - "Plans to relocate refugees are unrealistic," said Caritas Somalia

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Mogadishu (Agenzia Fides) - "IDP’s in Mogadishu live in difficult conditions, under threat of extortion and eviction" denounces the latest report of Caritas Somalia sent to Fides Agency.
The report, while acknowledging some improvement of general living conditions in the Somali capital, said that the situation of IDPs remains precarious. "The IDP’s in Mogadishu grapple with insecurity, including rapes and other forms of sexual violence," the document states. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Mogadishu, there are an estimated 369,000 internally displaced persons. Of these, about 270,000 people could be relocated to three camps on the outskirts of the capital, helping to decongest the city. "This project, however, raises concern "over the inadequate government capacity as well as security and access to services in proposed relocation areas." Finally, some of the displaced persons may be unwilling to move to new camps.
Somalia is facing the problem of providing a better location to at least 1.2 million internally displaced persons and more than one million refugees who have sought asylum in neighboring countries (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Djibouti and Yemen).
"The Somali government is not yet prepared to accommodate the almost 600,000 Somali refugees living mainly in Kenya and Ethiopia. Still, the Somali government is devising an ambitious plan to establish large camps inside Somalia, near the Kenyan border, " notes Carits Somalia. "It hopes to move hundreds of thousands of refugees to the new camps before the end of 2013."
"Not only is the implementation of this plan unrealistic, but it could also expose vulnerable refugees to dangerous conditions." the report concludes. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 26/03/2013)