By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, May 9 — When the UN’s outgoing humanitarian coordinator for Somalia Philippe Lazzarini held a press conference on May 8, Inner City Press asked him about the impact of money transfer and remittance being cut off, about the future of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya — and about Puntland and Somaliland, where people fleeing Yemen are landing. Video here.
Lazzarini said that remittances have been cut from the UK, US, Australia and more recently Kenya; the latter country might reinstate some of the money transfer companies, he said. Returns to Somalia from Dadaab should be voluntary.
In response to Inner City Press’ question about the involvement of some parts of the UN, and of the International Organization for Migration in screening refugees including for “counter-terrorism,” Lazzarini said that the government of Somalia is concerned about returnees who might have joined certain groups while in Yemen. Can you say, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula? There is more transparency needed, however, particularly from IOM.
Lazzarini has previously answered Inner City Press about Somaliland’s airspace. On May 8 when Inner City Press asked about the UN’s dealings with Somaliland and Puntland, he said it is a big topic, but concretely the deadly attack on UNICEF in Puntland means one can no longer say Puntland more safe than, say, Mogadishu. But what about Somaliland? We will have more on this.
Lazzarini is headed next to Lebanon; we’ll continue to cover his and the UN’s work there, and wish him luck.
Source:Inner City Press