New York Tmes: White House Weighs Another Reduction in Refugees Admitted to U.S.

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he White House is considering a second sharp reduction in the number of refugees who can be resettled in the United States, picking up where President Trump left off in 2017 in scaling back a program intended to offer protection to the world’s most vulnerable people, according to two former government officials and another person familiar with the talks. This time, the effort is meeting with less resistance from inside the Trump administration because of the success that Stephen Miller, the president’s senior policy adviser and an architect of his anti-immigration agenda, has had in installing allies in key positions who are ready to sign off on deep cuts. Last year, after a fierce internal battle that pitted Mr. Miller, who advocated a limit as low as 15,000, against officials at the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and the Pentagon, Mr. Trump set the cap at 45,000, a historic low. Under one plan currently being discussed, no more than 25,000 refugees…

The Independent: Why we need to protect refugees from the ‘big ideas’ designed to save them

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As the so-called “refugee crisis” continues to dominate European political and media debate, I’ve become increasingly concerned about the way in which some academics are responding to “solve” the issue. “Refugia” is the latest idea. Conceived of by two Oxford University academics, Refugia would be an autonomous region in which refugees would live and work, separated from the communities for whom their presence has become so politically problematic. The location of these areas and the numbers of people living there would involve bargaining and negotiation between richer states and the countries of the global south, in which 85 per cent of displaced people currently live. The proposal comes hard on the heels of suggestions from two other Oxford academics that “Special Economic Zones” be established in countries hosting large numbers of refugees in countries close to Europe to deter them from crossing the Mediterranean. The recently appointed mayor of Amsterdam has similarly called for a land of Zatopia, a utopian community where refugees can take…

IRIN: For refugees in Sudan, fears surround probe into UN resettlement fraud

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As the UN’s refugee agency investigates allegations of bribery and corruption in the resettlement process in Sudan, dozens of refugees have told IRIN they’re too fearful to give full details to UNHCR-appointed investigators. They worry about retribution from those they’re making allegations against because of what they say is a lack of protection for witnesses and close links between some local UNHCR staff and Sudanese security officials. Refugees have told IRIN that since the investigations began, they’ve been intimidated and harassed by some Sudanese staff at the UNHCR office in Khartoum, as well as by state security agents and officials of the Sudanese government’s Commission of Refugees. Refugees say they have been called on the phone or asked to meet with these officials and then been pressured not to testify on pain of having their cases for resettlement closed or losing access to other assistance. The Sudanese Commissioner of Refugees did not respond to multiple requests for comment. On 15…

Business Daily: EU project to boost Turkana refugees

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Thousands of refugees and host communities in Turkana County are set to benefit from an agriculture programme that is expected to improve food nutrition and incomes at the household level. The programme, a joint initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the European Union and the County Government of Turkana will see 400 hectares put under crop. So far sorghum is to be planted on 187 hectares. The land will be used to grow cereals, pulses, vegetables, fruits and pasture with the community expected to rake in Sh70 million in the next 12-18 months.The project, dubbed Kalobeyei Integrated Social and Economic Development Programme, is meant to develop the local economy and service delivery over 14 year. Click here to continue reading from the original source.

Africa Portal: Role of refugees in South Sudan’s peace process

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Today, 9 July, marks the seventh anniversary of South Sudan’s independence, more than four years of which have been marred by conflict. Disagreement between President Salva Kiir Mayardit (of the Dinka ethnic group) and his rival, former vice president Riek Machar (who is Nuer), led to the outbreak of the conflict in 2013. Clashes quickly took an ethnic dimension, which has since become one of the main factors fuelling tensions. Other factors include poverty, famine, competition over resources and the proliferation of small arms. Defusing tribal conflict is a crucial starting point to achieving a ceasefire which can restore peace in South Sudan. Refugees from South Sudan, both women and men, can contribute positively to the ongoing search for peace mainly due to their experiences in exile, living alongside different ethnic groups. Their experiences often make them accommodating of people’s differences, and they can help change attitudes and encourage their compatriots to interact even with perceived enemies. Click here to…
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