Repatriation to crisis countries: deportation with double standards

The government deports to Afghanistan. At the same time, it warns Kenya against repatriations to Somalia. The opposition speaks of "bigotry".

The Dadaab refugee camp. Somalis living here Kenya’s government wants to get rid of Photo: reuters

Deportations from Germany to Afghanistan go clearly, deportations from Kenya to Somalia, on the other hand, do not go at all: Corresponding statements from the Foreign Office are called "bigoted" by the Green member of the Bundestag Omid Nouripour. He accuses the German government of applying double standards to repatriations to crisis countries.

The foreign policy expert had asked about the situation in the Kenyan refugee camp Dadaab during question time in the Bundestag last week. Since the beginning of the Somali civil war in 1991, hundreds of thousands of refugees have settled there. However, because of attacks by Somali terrorists in Kenya, the government wants to get rid of the refugees. The authorities are urging them to return, according to Amnesty International also by threats.

Nouripour now wanted to know from the German government what options it sees for the roughly 250,000 people remaining in Dabaab "to return safely to Somalia, given the security and supply situation."

German government admonishes Kenyans

The answer from Maria Bohmer (CDU), Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office: evasive. Through development aid, the German government is trying to stabilize Somalia. In addition, she had "repeatedly made clear to Kenya that the return of Somali refugees may only take place voluntarily and in compliance with the standards of international law."

Nouripour calls this answer hypocritical. Finally, the Federal Republic has carried out three deportation flights to Afghanistan, which is also unstable, since December; the Foreign Office justifies these by referring to "comparatively calm and stable" regions within the country. The Green MP therefore says: "The Federal Government is acting in a profoundly bigoted manner: it lectures other states – quite rightly – that refugees cannot simply be deported to their countries of origin. But it itself disregards these principles with every collective deportation to Afghanistan."

After all, the German government itself did not carry out any deportations to Somalia in 2016 because of the security situation. However, European neighboring states assess the situation differently. For example, Denmark has been preparing deportations of Somali refugees to their home country for several weeks.

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