MEDIA MONITORING

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

Publish on
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

Publish on
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

Publish on
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

Publish on
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…

The EastAfrican: The case for refugees as a resource, not a burden for hosts

Publish on
As the adage goes: “A bundle of belongings isn’t the only thing a refugee brings to the country of asylum.” The commemoration of World Refugee Day is an opportunity to reflect on the fate of those forced to flee their homes by war, conflict, violence and persecution, and to focus the world’s attention on humanity’s shared responsibility and obligation to refugees. This year, displacement is at an all-time high worldwide. The number of displaced people worldwide stands at 68.5 million, over 50 per cent of them young people under the age of 18. Today, one in every 113 people is either a refugee, internally displaced, or an asylum-seeker. War is displacing over 28,300 people daily. Africa is caught in the vortex of this unprecedented global refugee crisis. Over 20 million people in Africa are of concern to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Sub-Saharan Africa hosts over 30 per cent of the world’s refugee population. The East and Horn of…