Djibouti, June 29, 2004 (Arab News) – Djibouti’s Interior Minister
Abdoulkader Dualeh Wais has disclosed that his government has begun
repatriating about 521 Somali asylum seekers whose applications to stay in
the country have been rejected, press reports said. “Over a period of five
months, the country’s refugee status determination commission has sifted
through 8,000 asylum applications to determine who should stay. About half
the applications were rejected. Those remaining at Awr Aousa, whose asylum
requests had been accepted, were more than 4,000 Somalis and 100 Ethiopians,
who would be transferred to other refugee camps in the country. The Awr
Aousa camp will be closed,” Wais said.
Meanwhile, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has
said that most of the 16,000 refugees from the northern region of Somaliland
who were living in Djibouti should be able to return home by the end of
2005, The UNHCR representative in Djibouti, William Collins Asare, said his
agency had repaired some infrastructure and set up some services in
Somaliland to assist the refugees in resettling.