"Over 30,000 Refugees to Go Home."
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) is planning to help 35,000 Somali refugees from Ethiopia return to Somalia starting this week. The UNHCR has stated that only those who want to return to their homes would be assisted. "Repatriation is a voluntary thing," said Zobida Hassim-Ashagrie, a representative from the UNHCR.
Currently there are about 154,000 refugees in some nine camps in Ethiopia, mainly Sudanese, Somalis, and Eritreans. Many of these people have fled the constant fighting and wars in the Horn of Africa.
Individuals will only be allowed to return to their homeland as long as there is no fear of persecution. Individuals returning to their homes are to be given nine months' worth of food and 330 Ethiopian birr (approximately US $39) to help them start a new life.
Somalis used to comprise the largest number of refugees in Ethiopia, but currently there are more Sudanese refugees. The UNHCR has plans to repatriate an additional 20,000 refugees next year.
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