Press Review 24
13 to 19 June 2016
International Asylum Seeker/Refugee Policy Issues Is a model refugee policy in Africa doomed? Rajiv Golla, IRIN, 13 June 2016 South Sudanese refugees, driven by food insecurity, a collapsing economy, and ongoing violence continue to arrive in northern Uganda, despite the formation of a unity government back home in Juba. As a result, Ugandas open door refugee policy has been placed under severe strain. The progressive and forward-looking policy places an emphasis on the importance of self-sufficiency creation, and integration of refugees and asylum seekers into the host community. In a nutshell, Ugandas refugee system avoids the traditional model of packing refugees into camps, isolated from local communities. Instead, they are provided with a basic ration and allotted plots of land, construction materials, and tools with which to build their new lives. However, with Uganda now host to more than 510,000 refugees the approach is being stretched to its limits. Provided plot sizes are shrinking from 50x50 metres to as low as 25x25 metres too small to be sustainable. Basic rations are not nearly enough to supplement the harvest from these small plots, increasing the very aid dependence the strategy was supposed to avoid. Furthermore, integration between refugees and hosts have been placed under strain, given the perpetual influx of South Sudanese asylum seekers. Refugees are losing the trade value of their NGO-rations such as cooking oil, sorghum and tools, and are struggle to supply themselves with other (namely food) supplies. With the prospects for sustainable peace looking grim in South Sudan, the situation is only expected to get worse. As such, the progressive nature of Ugandas system may become side-lined for a more (im)practical setup. UN urges international donors to fulfil pledges on Syria refugees Press TV, 16 June 2016 The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has called on the international community to fulfil its commitment to tackle the refugee crisis in the Middle East. At the Supporting Syria and the Region conference in London in February, the wealthiest world powers offered $11 billion to states most heavily affected by the crisis. Four months later, however, only $2.5 billion has been distributed less than a quarter of the pledged amount. These pledges include loans and grants for specific uses such as scholarships in addition to straightforward humanitarian aid but are not enough to address the scale of the situation, warned the U.N. MSF refuses funding from EU in protest against refugee policies Himanshu Goenka, International Business Times, 17 June 2016 Mdecins Sans Frontires, or Doctors Without Borders, announced Friday that it would no longer accept funding from the European Union and its member states. During a press conference, MSFs Secretary General Jrme Oberreit said the decision was made in response to Europes dangerous migration policies. MSF called for a dramatic shift in policy from pushing back refugees to a focus on protecting and assisting them. It also said there was nothing remotely humanitarian about the
EU-Turkey deal. The organisation will use emergency funds to keep their projects running, with no patients being affected by the decision.
Regional Displacement Issues Effects of Ethiopian Drought James Jeffrey, IRIN, 13 June 2016 Ethiopias current drought is the worst the country has seen in 50 years, according to many reports. Despite not contributing to as many deaths as the drought in 1984 (which contributed to more than one million Ethiopians dying), crop production in Ethiopias northern Tigray and Afar regions has dropped by between 50 and 90 percent in some parts, and failed completely in others. In the countrys Somali region, more than half a million livestock are estimated to have died and a joint government and humanitarian partners' report estimates 1.5 million people 27 percent of the regions population need food assistance. Seven Niger gendarmes killed in refugee camp attack News24, 18 June 2016 Seven gendarmes have been killed in an attack on a refugee camp in Niger hosting civilians who have fled Boko Haram, security and humanitarian sources said on Friday. The attack occurred at the south-eastern Nguagam camp, home to both internally displaced Nigeriens and refugees and asylum seekers from Nigeria. UNICEF report: 9 out of 10 refugee and migrant children arriving in Europe unaccompanied UNICEF, Press release, 14 June 2016 More than 9 out of 10 refugee and migrant children arriving in Europe this year through Italy are unaccompanied, prompting UNICEF to warn of the growing threats of abuse, exploitation and death facing them. In a report, Danger Every Step of the Way, released today, UNICEF says that 7,009 unaccompanied children made the crossing from North Africa to Italy in the first five months of the year, twice as many as last year. A total of 2,809 deaths were recorded in the Mediterranean between January 1 and June 5, 2016, as compared with 3,770 for the whole of last year. The vast majority were on the Central Mediterranean route and many were children. Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant crisis in Europe, has highlighted the urgent need to protect these children from all types of abuse and exploitation, and that an opportunity exists for policy and legislative reforms to lead to more opportunities for safe, legal and regular channels for these children. Nigeria, Cameroun and UNHCR Agrees on Return of IDPs Senator Iroegbu, This Day, 13 June 2016 Abuja The federal government has signed a tripartite agreement with the United Nations High Commission for Refuge (UNHCR) and the Republic of Cameroun for the return of about 80,000 Nigerian refugees who had fled for safety and are currently taking refuge in the in the country.
Malawi urges truck drivers to use Zim route News24, 17 June 2016 The Malawian government has urged transporters and bus operators to use the alternative Zimbabwe route to bypass Mozambique due to insecurity brought about by the continued attacks on truck drivers. Transport Minister Malison Ndau issued the directive following a meeting with his counterparts from the ministries of foreign affairs, trade and industry and home affairs on Wednesday. At least five vehicles belonging to Malawians have been attacked and torched in Mozambique in the past week due to an ongoing battle between Renamo militia and Mozambique's Liberation Front (Frelimo).
South Africa CoRMSA challenging Nyamwasa refugee status TMG Digital, Times Live, 15 June 2016 The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) with the support of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) said it is seeking to protect the integrity of the refugee system and to ensure that South Africa is not a safe haven for criminals. The case is said to challenge the granting of refugee status to General Kayumba Nyamwasa, who has been accused of committing war crimes in Rwanda and the DRC. CoRMSA, having been denied leave to appeal the North Gauteng High Court ruling upholding Nyamwasas status granting, have now approached the Supreme Court of Appeal. LHR launches petition to end statelessness in SA Nomahlubi Jordaan, TMG Digital, 17 June 2016
Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) has started a petition to end statelessness in South Africa. They
want the department of home affairs to write a regulation which will provide guidance and a form to
make it possible for stateless children to apply for and obtain citizenship. Without documentation,
such as a birth certificate or an ID document, a stateless child often experiences trouble accessing
health care, education, social grants and travel documents. Furthermore, when a stateless child
becomes a stateless adult, they are at risk of arrest and deportation, cannot legally work or study,
open a bank account or vote. The petition currently has 500 signatures. LHR are petitioning to bring
SAs policy up to par with the countrys obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child
namely that all children in the country, who would otherwise be stateless, should have the right to
acquire a nationality. In sum, no child should be left stateless (Article 7 of the convention). The
petition currently has 500 signatures. http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/renamo-attacks-malawi-urges-truck-drivers-to-use-zim-route-20160617http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2016/06/15/%E2%80%98Sanctity-of-refugee-system-at-stake%E2%80%99-in-case-about-alleged-war-criminalhttp://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2016/06/17/Lawyers-for-Human-Rights-launches-petition-to-end-statelessness-in-SA