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Taking stock of Rwanda as a host for refugees

Taking stock of Rwanda as a host for refugees

THE UK and Rwanda have announced a deal in which the UK will send some people claiming asylum to the East African nation where their cases will be processed. If they are granted asylum, they will be encouraged to remain in Rwanda for at least five years. Refugee expert, Evan Easton-Calabria, provides key insights into Rwanda as a refugee host. Could you give us a picture of Rwanda’s refugee operations? Rwanda hosts about 127,585 refugees, the overwhelming majority of whom come from just two countries: the Democratic Republic of Congo (about 77,288) and Burundi (about 49,827). This is a significant…
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SPECIAL REPORT-In Ethiopia’s civil war, Eritrea’s army exacted deadly vengeance on old foes

SPECIAL REPORT-In Ethiopia’s civil war, Eritrea’s army exacted deadly vengeance on old foes

AYENAT MERSIE, GIULIA PARAVICINI and KATHARINE HOURELD OVER two decades, Eritreans poured across the border into Ethiopia, fleeing forced military service, torture, and prison in one of Africa's most repressive states. By last November, around 20,000 of them were living at two refugee camps here in Ethiopia's Tigray province, finding haven in their more prosperous neighbour. That month, a rebellion broke out in Tigray, pitting the region's rulers against Ethiopia's central government. The Eritrean military sent in tanks and troops to aid its ally, Ethiopian leader Abiy Ahmed – and to settle old scores. Within days, truckloads of soldiers from…
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Kenya to shut two camps with 410 000 refugees

Kenya to shut two camps with 410 000 refugees

KENYA has told the United Nations it will shut by June 2022 two camps holding over 430,000 refugees who fled from wars in the east and Horn of Africa, adding it planned to repatriate some and give others residency. The interior ministry made the announcement on Twitter about five weeks after ordering the closure of the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps and giving the United Nations two weeks to present a plan to carry this out. Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta and U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) chief Filippo Grandi met on Thursday in Nairobi and a joint team will be formed…
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Kenyan judge rules against closure of two refugee camps

Kenyan judge rules against closure of two refugee camps

A Kenyan judge ruled yesterday against the closure of two refugee camps hosting hundreds of thousands of people mainly from neighbouring Somalia, according to a copy of the court order seen by Reuters. Two weeks ago the country's interior minister, Fred Matiang'i, announced the government's intention to shut the camps and gave the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) two weeks to present a plan to do so, adding that there was no room for further talks on the issue. The ruling blocks the closure for 30 days. It originated from a petition filed by a local politician challenging a move to…
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Kenya orders closure of two refugee camps, gives ultimatum to UN agency

Kenya orders closure of two refugee camps, gives ultimatum to UN agency

KENYA has ordered the closure of two sprawling camps that host hundreds of thousands of refugees from neighbouring Somalia and gave the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) two weeks to present a plan to do so, the interior ministry said. The Dadaab and the Kakuma refugee camps in northern Kenya together host more than 410,000 people, a small proportion of whom are from South Sudan. Authorities in Nairobi first announced their intention to shut the Dadaab camp, which is closer to the border with Somalia than Kakuma, back in 2016, citing national security concerns. Fred Matiang'i, the interior minister, has now…
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