05 Sep Refugee Return Research in Dadaab, Kenya
On June 9 and 10, Sayara International attended the second international conference of the Research & Evidence Facility (REF) in Nairobi, funded by the European Union Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF). We presented research findings on Kenyan host community perspectives on the return of Somali refugees from Dadaab refugee complex to Somalia.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Migrants and Forcibly Displaced Persons: Towards Greater Inclusion and Protection.” Abdullahi Abdille Shahow, Consulting Researcher at Sayara, presented our research. He also contributed to an expert panel on the opportunities and challenges relating to refugee displacement, return, and reintegration.
Host communities as key participants in decision-making processes
The presentation focused on research carried out in Dadaab refugee complex, where over 80% of Somali refugees in Kenya live. Sayara’s research shows that Kenyan host communities in Dadaab were opposed to the forced return of Somali refugees to Somalia. In contrast, they favored Somali refugees becoming an integrated part of the community.
Crucially, the study suggests that both refugee and host communities should be key participants in decision-making processes. This is particularly important in the context of the closure of Dadaab and, subsequently, the development of solutions towards sustainable integration.