First UN special envoy for Somali refugees amid 'asylum fatigue'

By REUTERS
September 30, 2016 16:37

NAIROBI - The United Nations has appointed its first special envoy for Somali refugees to ensure they receive protection, following accusations by a rights group that Kenya has been forcing them out of the world's largest refugee camp in a bid to close it.

Kenya, which says the returns are voluntary, called last week at the UN General Assembly for more funding to repatriate more than 300,000 Somali refugees living in Dadaab camp on its northern border.

"The Special Envoy will first help to maximize efforts to search (for) solutions for Somali refugees and asylum seekers at national and regional level and strive to enhance dialogue... to help maintain asylum," the UN said in a statement on Friday.

Former Kenyan ambassador to Somalia, Mohamed Abdi Affey, was appointed in response to "recent security and political gains in parts of Somalia, along with growing pressures on host countries and related asylum fatigue," it said.


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