Press Review 27 June 2016

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Tags: Africa asylum asylum seekers development forced migration migrants migration policy refugees refugeesX refugee amendment bill southern Africa xenophobiaX refoulement

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National

South Africa: Court Orders Home Affairs to Renew Asylum Seekers’ Documents

Groundup, 9 June 2016

A “big relief for thousands” says refugee organisation Last week, the Western Cape High Court ordered Home Affairs to extend or renew the permits of refugees living in the Western Cape whose permits were originally obtained in other provinces. Bernard Toyambi, Director of immigrant rights organisation PASSOP, said that since February 2015, Home Affairs has been refusing to renew such documents. More than 1,000 people have complained to PASSOP and other organisations working with refugees. A list of their names was submitted as evidence.

‘Sanctity of refugee system at stake’ in case about alleged war criminal

Times Live, 15 June 2016

A group representing refugees and migrants has approached the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) to challenge the state’s “granting of refugee status to alleged war criminal General Kayumba Nyamwasa”. 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”. CoRMSA said on Wednesday that‚ having being denied leave to appeal the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruling that “Nyamwasa is entitled to refugee status in South Africa” last year‚ it “directly petitioned the SCA”.

South Africa: Govt to Foster Unity on Refugee Day

allAfrica, 17 June 2016

THE Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, will on Monday engage with representatives from the refugee community as part of commemorations of World Refugee Day. He will visit the Catholic Archdiocese and the Bienvenu Shelter, both in Johannesburg. The Bienvenu Shelter caters for the basic needs of migrant women and children as well as refugees. Deputy Minister, Fatima Chohan, as well as the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) will accompany him.

Anti-xenophobia coalition to try to stop Refugee Amendment Bill

Times Live, 18 June 2016

With World Refugee Day on Monday‚ the People’s Coalition Against Xenophobia (PCAX) launched a campaign on Saturday to protect asylum-seekers. PCAX which consists of institutions such as Corruption Watch‚ Lawyers for Human Rights‚ Doctors Without Borders‚ the Legal Resources Centre‚ Amnesty International and others are challenging the proposed Refugee Amendment Bill of August 2015.

Economic refugees abuse South Africa’s liberal asylum regime: Gigaba

Times Live, 20 June 2016

An unintended consequence of the country’s liberal asylum regime has been that migrants who are not genuine refugees but are seeking economic opportunities have used it to attempt to regularise their stay in South Africa. This comment was made by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba as he addressed the World Refugee Day in Johannesburg on Monday.

South Africa hosts more asylum-seekers than any other country

The South African, 20 June 2016

Despite our crumbling economy, rampant unemployment, and civil unrest; South Africa hosts more than 1 million asylum-seekers, more than any other country in the world. According to a report by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), by the end of 2015 South Africa hosted more asylum seekers than any other country in the world. This, despite government’s inability to overcome economic hurdles and make a dent in unemployment.

South Africa: The Road to Becoming a Refugee in SA Is About to Get Harder

The Daily Vox, 21 June 2016

Asta Bizimana, a refugee from Burundi living in Durban, says she left her home country because she feared for her life and hated the place after what happened to her brothers. “Burundi is plagued with political unrest and all kinds of social ills. I left the country in 2008 after my two younger brothers got butchered to death for joining a political party,” she told The Daily Vox. Bizimana is one of many asylum seekers and refugees who are challenged by the tons of paperwork they have to go through before receiving a permit.

South Africa: Home Affairs System Fixed At Last

Groundup, 23 June 2016

Refugees express relief after weeks of problems. Refugees at the Home Affairs offices in Cape Town today expressed relief that the computer system which was down for almost two weeks is working again. Refugees complained earlier this month of their frustration over problems with the Home Affairs database that manages refugee and asylum documentation, leaving them standing in long queues and unable to do anything which required papers.

Regional

Sudan: ‘Illness Plagues 90 Percent of Sudanese Refugees in South Sudan Camp’

allAfrica, 12 June 2016

The dire humanitarian conditions for Sudanese refugees in El Maban camp in South Sudan’s Upper Nile have made a large majority ill, according to the camp’s coordinator. The Sudanese refugees from Blue Nile in camps in El Maban in South Sudan’s Upper Nile are living in dire humanitarian and health conditions, according to the Coordinator of camp Yousif Bateel. The coordinator told Radio Dabanga that 90 per cent of the refugees, many of whom fled fighting and air raids in Kilgo, are suffering of coughs, flu, and malaria, as a result of the harsh environmental conditions.

Africa: Is a Model Refugee Policy in Africa Doomed?

IRIN, 13 June 2016

Influx from South Sudan pushes Uganda’s progressive system to breaking point. 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. The return of Riek Machar, former vice president-cum-rebel leader, in April to take up the post of First Vice President has not improved the fortunes of the battered economy, or unlocked more aid money. Weak oil prices have helped fuel the South Sudanese pound’s freefall against the dollar – driving up prices in an economy in which nearly everything is imported. Jobs and services are scarce.

UNHCR expanding Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp

africanews, 17 June 2016

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said it was building a new site to reduce overcrowding in the Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya, to house refugees fleeing nearby South Sudan. The announcement comes at the backdrop of Kenya’s recent decision to close the world’s biggest refugee camp, Dadaab saying it posed an existential security threat to Kenya. Already home to nearly 200,000 refugees, Kakuma has seen the arrival of some 44,000 South Sudanese refugees since late 2013, when fighting broke out between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebels allied with current first Vice President Riek Machar, stretching the camp to its limits.

Seven Niger gendarmes killed in refugee camp attack

News24, 18 June 201

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. Thursday’s attack at the south-eastern Nguagam camp, home to both internally displaced Nigeriens and refugees from across the border in Nigeria, came shortly after a major visit by lawmakers and UN personnel.

Africa: Only Just Leadership Will End Problem of Refugees

The Citizen, 20 June 2016

As the international community marks World Refugee Day today, it is apt to look at the situation of displaced people and how it affects Tanzania in particular and the global community in general. Throughout its recent history, Tanzania has hosted millions of refugees fleeing strife in neighbouring countries. During the pre-1990s period, Tanzania sheltered people running away from the oppressive colonial regimes in southern Africa–including apartheid in South Africa– and the country provided bases for training freedom fighters.

East Africa: Refugees from the Horn of Africa Struggle in South Africa

allAfrica, 21 June 2016

Fleeing war, drought and poverty, an increasing number of people from the Horn of Africa are heading south en route to South Africa. After arrival, many face xenophobia, arrest and deportation.

Namibia: Govt Seeks Assistance With Support to Refugees

allAfrica, 22 June 2016

Immigration minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana on Monday called for humanitarian assistance, saying drought-stricken Namibia is having a hard time taking care of refugees and asylum seekers. She said this in her speech during the commemoration of World Refugee Day yesterday at Osire. “This situation is detrimental to not only the livelihood of Namibians, but it has also weakened the government’s ability to support and protect the refugees and asylum seekers in the country as many are looking at government to provide,” she noted. The minister said the drought, which has ravaged the country, has caused people and livestock to be internally displaced in search of better grazing and water supply.

International

Honduras detains over 100 African migrants

africanews, 16 June 2016

Honduras has detained more than 100 African migrants, including some children. The detention was carried out on Tuesday near the border with Nicaragua as they tried to make their way to the United States. The migrants entered Honduras through the border of La Fraternidad, San Marcos de Colon, in the south, it was reported. Immigration officers spotted the group walking along the Panamerican highway that connects the country and Nicaragua. Migration authorities did not specify which countries they had come from but some 100 of them were said to be from Africa.

‘Unprecedented’ 65 million people displaced by war and persecution in 2015 – UN

UN News Centre, 20 June 2016

The number of people displaced from their homes due to conflict and persecution last year exceeded 60 million for the first time in United Nations history, a tally greater than the population of the United Kingdom, or of Canada, Australia and New Zealand combined, says a new report released on World Refugee Day today. The Global Trends 2015 compiled by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) notes that 65.3 million people were displaced at the end of 2015, an increase of more than 5 million from 59.5 million a year earlier. The tally comprises 21.3 million refugees, 3.2 million asylum seekers, and 40.8 million people internally displaced within their own countries. Measured against the world’s population of 7.4 billion people, one in every 113 people globally is now either a refugee, an asylum-seeker or internally displaced – putting them at a level of risk for which UNHCR knows no precedent. On average, 24 people were forced to flee each minute in 2015, four times more than a decade earlier, when six people fled every 60 seconds.

Tags: Africa    asylum    asylum seekers    development    forced migration    migrants    migration policy    refugees    refugeesX refugee amendment bill    southern Africa    xenophobiaX refoulement   

Categorised in: Press Review