Information on the situation in the Gedo region after the United Nations withdrawal as an internal flight alternative for Marehans [SOM20729.E]

Specific information on the above-mentioned subjects is scarce among the sources consulted by the DIRB.

However, brief references to the situation in Gedo and the Marehan can be found in Somalia Faces the Future: Human Rights in a Fragmented Society, which is available in Regional Documentation Centres (Apr. 1995, 34-36).

As well, a recent letter sent to the DIRB on the subject of Somali repatriation may be of interest; the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) states that

The fact of voluntary repatriation to Somalia does not automatically mean that there is an absence of risk or persecution, nor safety upon return. It would be incorrect to view or construe the fact of repatriation as amounting to the safety or stability of the region, or to use it as the basis or justification for the rejection of asylum claims, or to forcibly return asylum seekers there (10 May 1995).

The UNHCR states that "caution must be exercised in inferring an internal flight alternative based on voluntary repatriation statistics (which numbers do not distinguish gender, or clan affiliations of returnees) ... especially, as often times for Somali asylum-seekers, persecution emanates from rival clan members" (ibid).

For general information regarding the situation in southern Somalia, please consult the recently published paper Victims and Vulnerable Groups in Southern Somalia, which is available at Regional Documentation Centres.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Human Rights Watch Africa. April 1995. Vol. 7. No. 2. Somalia Faces the Future: Human Rights in a Fragmented Society. New York: Human Rights Watch.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Ottawa. 10 May 1995. Letter sent to the DIRB.

Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential [London].

Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series [Oxford].

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Reports.

The Horn of Africa Bulletin [Uppsala].

The Indian Ocean Newsletter [Paris].

Jeune Afrique [Paris].

New African [London].

HCRViews information database.

On-line searches of news articles.