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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04DJIBOUTI307 2004-03-04 11:10:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Djibouti
Cable title:  

SOMALILAND REFUGEES IN DJIBOUTI HEAD FOR HOME

Tags:   PREF PREL EAID DJ 
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					C O N F I D E N T I A L DJIBOUTI 000307 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/02/2014
TAGS: PREF PREL EAID DJ
SUBJECT: SOMALILAND REFUGEES IN DJIBOUTI HEAD FOR HOME

REF: ADDIS ABABA 03982 (NOTAL)

Classified By: Pol/Econ Erinn C. Reed for reasons
1.5 b and d



1. (U) SUMMARY: After a long hiatus, voluntary
repatriations from Djibouti's Ali-Adde and Hol-Hol
refugee camps have begun to leave in reportedly
steady numbers. However, food resources remain tight
and over-evualtion of the population has gone
unresolved.

REFUGEE REPATRIATION RESUMES


--------------------------




2. (U) UNHCR, in coordination with Djiboutian and
Somaliland authorities, once again began the repatriation
of Somaliland refugees. UNHCR reported that on February
11th, during the first round of repatriations in over
six months, 214 refugees turned in their ration cards
in order to receive their 9-month repatriation food
package. The refugees also received forty dollars U.S.
as an adjustment allowance. However, sources at UNHCR
say that only 71 people were physically transported
from the camps. This discrepancy alludes to the
over-estimation of the real refugee population. There
are currently over 22,000 registered refugees on the
rolls in Ali-Adde and Hol-Hol refugee camps. Even if
UNHCR succeeded in repatriating "214" refugees per week,
as is their hope, the repatriation would take over two
years. World Food Program (WFP) reported that the
second round of repatriations, which took place on
February 27th, included 596 persons. This number has
not been confirmed, but sources intimate that again, the
number reflects the number of ration cards turned in and
food packages doled out, not the number of refugees that
were relocated to Somaliland.

WFP'S TIGHT FOOD RESOURCES MAY BE HELPED BY REPATRIATIONS


--------------------------



--------------------------




3. (U) According to WFP Director Fatma Samoura, unused
resources that were allocated to 2003 calendar-year
repatriations were being used to make up food packages
given to the returning refugees. Calendar-year 2003
repatriations totaled 241 persons, whereas resources were
scheduled for 5,000 to repatriate. Presently, these
remaining resources can provide food packages for another
4,500 repatriations. Samoura did not indicate whether
this met the needs for the number of repatriations
scheduled for calendar-year 2004.



4. (U) Samoura also said that current resources for feeding
the regular population of the two refugee camps has been
stretched thin due to the need from the Aour Aoussa Transit
camp. The two camps have been on half-ration
for the past six months in order to prevent a possible
humanitarian crisis, such as the one that took place in
September 2003 and to feed the 8,000 plus asylum seekers
at Aour Aoussa transit camp (RefTel). Samoura commented
that the currentresources should last until June, but
rations may need to be reduced further at that time,
depending on the success of the repatriations.

EXACT NUMBER OF REFUGEES STILL NOT CERTAIN


--------------------------




5. (C) UNHCR'S planned attempt at re-registration to
validate the actual number of refugees present in the
camps had near violent results when the UNHCR
representative arrived in Hol-Hol to announce the
re-registration exercise in early February and was
reportedly stoned out of the camp. The re-registration
has been put on indefinite hold, due to what Post views
as Government posturing to receive maximum donor resources.
UNHCR reports that the asylum status committee convened in
Ali Sabieh to determine status for the approximately 8,000
individuals at Aour-Aoussa transit center continues to
make progress.



6. (C) COMMENT: While the manner in which repatriations
are taking place may not be transparent, the bottom line
is a net positive for the USG. Names continue to be
removed from the rolls at a steady clip. END COMMENT.
RAGSDALE