Press review November 2019

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Image credit: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash



Foreign protesters not our problem, says Home Affairs 13 November 2019

It is not the job of the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) to identify the protesters camped outside the UN refugee agency in Pretoria.

This is according to its latest court papers submitted to the Pretoria High Court as part of litigation aimed at having the protesters removed from living on the pavements outside the agency’s office.

Two Pretoria homeowners’ associations have instituted court action to compel the relevant authorities to fulfill their statutory duties and legally remove hundreds of refugees who have erected an expansive informal settlement outside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) offices, along the upmarket residential Waterkloof Road in Pretoria.

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SA is not xenophobic, Ramaphosa tells Africa Investment Forum 12 November 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa faced tough questions around the recent resurgence of xenophobic violence in South Africa at the high-level Africa Investment Forum, that got underway on Monday.

During an opening presidential session that included Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Ghana’s Nana Akufo Addo and Mozambican Prime Minister Agostinho do Rosario, Ramaphosa was quizzed on the sensitive topic. He was asked how the SA government is addressing the issue and about its impact on the country and on SA/Africa relations.

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CAPE TOWN – Foreigners living in a Cape Town church have not next yet moved out, despite being asked to leave by the reverend. They’ve been living at the Methodist chapel off Greenmarket Square for a few weeks, after they were forcibly removed from outside the UN Refugee Agency offices nearby.

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Why refugees are demanding to leave South Africa 15 November 2019

Mulemera Kalonda is two-and-a-half years old. Cradled against the chest of his mother, Beatrice Faida, he has been battling a fever for two days. Despite Faida’s refugee status in South Africa, and Mulemera being born here, they have been turned away from clinics so often that they have stopped seeking such help.

Mulemera, his mother and three siblings are among the nearly 700 migrants, many refugees and asylum seekers, who were camped on the pavements outside the offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the upmarket Tshwane suburb of Brooklyn since the start of October.

Earlier this week, the Pretoria high court ruled that the group must disperse because their occupation of the suburb’s pavements is unlawful. The next day, the group forced its way onto the premises of the UNHCR offices, demanding to be heard.

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N. refugee organization reopens corruption probe after NBC News report 24 November 2019

The United Nations has reopened an investigation into allegations of corruption among employees at a Ugandan refugee camp following an NBC News investigation, but victims say they face retaliation for testifying and the UN is not protecting them.

In a story published in partnership with 100Reporters and Journalists for Transparency, NBC News reported that refugees at the Nakivale settlement in southwest Uganda said employees and contractors working for the U.N. Refugee Agency, the UNHCR, as well as local police and employees of the Ugandan government’s Office of the Prime Minister and police, were demanding bribes for everything from access to essential services, including medical referrals, to resettlement in Europe or the U.S.

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FAO-UNHCR boost partnership on refugees and host communities’ resilience in Eastern Africa  14 November 2019

Discussions on the need for durable solutions in displacement settings, including economic and social integration of refugees among host communities, while ensuring sustainable energy and environment solutions, took centre stage in Nairobi this week.

Humanitarian and development actors in Eastern Africa met from 13th to 14th November, to examine ways to help refugees strengthen their livelihoods and self-reliance while reducing pressure on host communities and the environment. The 2-day discussions yielded the next steps to the development of joint programmes between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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Third Group of Refugees Evacuated to Rwanda From Libya With UNHCR Support 25 November 2019

More than 100 vulnerable refugees, including several babies born in detention centres in Libya, have arrived in Rwanda on a humanitarian evacuation flight organised by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

The group of 116 landed at Kigali International Airport at 2245 last night (Sunday 24 November). They have been taken to a transit facility in Gashora, where UNHCR is providing them with life-saving assistance, including food, water, medical care, psycho-social support, and accommodation.

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Nigeria Has 218,000 Refugees in Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Says UN 27 November 2019

Abuja — About 218,000 Nigerians are said to be refugees in three neighbouring countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has revealed.

According to the UNHCR Country Representative, Anthonio Canhandula, Nigeria has 94,000 refugees in Cameroon, 12,000 in Chad and 112,000 in Niger Republic.

Canhandula, who made the disclosure Wednesday at a consultative meeting on the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) in Abuja, urged Nigeria to create conditions that would facilitate the return of the refugees to the country.

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Sending Refugees Back Makes the World More Dangerous 27 November 2019

The oft-repeated refrain that the world is witnessing an unprecedented refugee crisis is both misleading and dangerous. While the number of refugees worldwide has nearly doubled in the past decade, if there is a crisis today, it is one of refugee return. Despite the fact that non-refoulement—the prohibition against sending asylum-seekers back to a country where their life or liberty is endangered—is considered one of the strongest norms in international law, governments across the world are going to great lengths to send refugees back. Some, such as the United States, are blatantly flouting non-refoulement with plans to send Central American asylum-seekers directly back into the violence they are fleeing.

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Photo Exhibition on Entrepreneurship for Migrants and Refugees 18 November 2019

UNCTAD, IOM and UNHCR held a joint photo exhibition on 18 November at the Palais des Nations in Geneva showcasing the contributions of migrant and refugee entrepreneurs to the development of their host communities and communities of origin.

In the spirit of delivering as One UN, this initiative builds on the ongoing tripartite partnership that led to the joint UNCTAD, IOM, UNHCR Policy Guide on Entrepreneurship for Migrants and Refugees, launched during the World Investment Forum in Geneva in October 2018.

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