refugees

Sudan to Close Refugee Camps

The government of Sudan plans to close down camps for the displaced population in the war-torn region of Darfur in 2010.

Humanitarian Aid Commissioner, Hasabu Abdel-Rahman, points out that some 20 000 housing units are being constructed to accommodate the homeless in the towns of El-Fasher, El-Geneina and Nyala.

Abdel-Rahman says the displaced people will have the choice of returning to their village if they do not want to move to the new housing complexes.

SACC Criticises Govt Over Refugees

The primary villain in the Central Methodist Church (CMC) Zimbabwean refugee saga is not Bishop Paul Verryn, but government, according to the South African Council of Churches (SACC).

In a press statement responding to a surprise visit to the church by the Gauteng portfolio committee on health and social development last week, the SACC describes their visit as “understandable, yet rather late”.

Summit Focuses on Refugees

African leaders have gathered in the Ugandan capital of Kampala for a two-day summit aimed at agreeing on a treaty on improving the plight of the continent's 17 million refugees and displaced.

The Convention on the Protection and Assistance of the Displaced People in Africa is the first of its kind aimed at internally displaced people, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Botswana to Deport 41 DRC Refugees

Botswana has decided to deport the 41 refugees who fled Namibia three months ago back to the war-stricken Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This was confirmed by the Botswana’s Defence, Justice and Security Permanent Secretary, Augustine Makgonatsotlhe.

The group, 23 children and 18 adults, fled Namibia on 7 July 2009, saying they feared for their lives because of death threats from the Namibian government after they complained of unacceptable conditions at the Osire Refugee Camp, where they had been living.

Refugees We All (Are)

Refugees we all are
along with dictators,
tin-pot and other sheltering
in asylum South Africa

(You dont have to
step outside to be
harassed and subjected
to all kinds of abuse)

Refugees we all are
no place for women
in an outpost where
their abuse is the order
of the every day

Refugees we all are
trapped by the burden
of prejudices past and
intolerances present

Refugees we all are
never mind the freedoms

Displaced Somalis on the Increase

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says four months of intense fighting in Mogadishu have taken the total number of displaced Somalis to 1.55 million.

In a press statement, UNHCR notes that the figure includes more than 250 000 that have been displaced since renewed violence rocked the city in early May.

According to the UN, Somalia is currently experiencing its worst humanitarian crisis in 18 years of almost uninterrupted civil strife and one of the world's worst ongoing humanitarian tragedies.

South Africa’s Induction for Asylum Seekers

Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, has announced that his department is finalising an integration strategy encompassing induction training for asylum seekers and refugees.

Gigaba, who maintains that South Africa has no provision for the ‘basic induction’ of foreigners, says the proposed training will provide answers to such questions as “what is SA, what is its constitution, human rights, languages, and what type of people do we have?”

Mozambican Police Criticised for Abusing Refugees

The Human Rights Associations Forum (FADH) at the refugee centre of Maratane, in the Mozambican northern Nampula province, has written a letter to the Provincial Police Command reporting alleged cases of abuse by the chief of the local police substation in the centre.

Besides the alleged acts of torture, the Maratane branch of the FADH, also denounces alleged misplacing of complaint papers filled by some asylum seekers, victims of ill-treatment.

NGOs Welcome Release of Refugees

Human rights organisations have welcomed the release of more than 300 Zimbabwean refugees, saying their arrests have been unreasonable.

In a joint press statement, Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) and the AIDS Law Project (ALP), point out that, "Dropping the spurious charges of loitering strengthens our conviction that homeless people are being targeted just because they are homeless and vulnerable."

Report Focuses on Influx of Migrants

A report by the Forced Migration Studies Programme (FMSP) at the University of the Witwatersrand has attributed the influx of illegal migrants to a lack of information about immigration policy and border procedures.

The report points out that wrong information is spread by smugglers that encourage many migrants, including those with legitimate claims for asylum, to enter South Africa informally or illegally.

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