IOM Helps Somali Migrants Return Home from Tanzania
Mogadishu – On Wednesday (03/10) IOM, the UN Migration Agency, assisted 17 Somali migrants in returning voluntarily from Tanzania, where they had been detained as they embarked on an unsuccessful journey to South Africa.
IOM’s intervention was made under the auspices of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa (also known as the ‘Joint Initiative’) with funding from the EU Trust Fund for Africa.
The latest return will bring the number of Somalis assisted by IOM under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative to 82 since March 2017.
This assistance was provided in close coordination with the governments of Somalia and Tanzania and will enable the Somali returnees to build a future back home. It includes medical check-ups, housing, group and psychosocial counselling, along with longer-term support towards developing job skills and starting up small businesses to have gainful employment and decent livelihoods. The Joint Initiative aims to assist at least 1000 Somali returnees before March 2020.
Gerald Kihinga, representing Tanzania’s Commissioner General of Immigration (CGI), thanked IOM for its continuing support in managing migration, and welcomed the collaboration and coordination between the governments of Tanzania and Somalia in attending to the increasing numbers of Somali migrants entering Tanzania irregularly.
The EU-IOM Joint Initiative facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights-based and development-focused procedures and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration. The project covers and has been set up in close cooperation with a total of 26 African countries.
Southern Africa is still a preferred destination for migrants from East and the Horn of Africa. However, the southern route – largely to South Africa – also has its share of hazards, including the risk of arrest for those without the requisite documentation, or for those who overstay their welcome in the transit countries.
Others opt for Europe and the Middle East using what have come to be known as the northern and eastern routes: perilous journeys through areas impacted by conflict, to the north of Africa, the western part of the continent as well as the Horn of Africa.