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19 Dec 2005 description

ADDIS ABABA, Dec. 19 (UNHCR) - Concluding a two-day visit to Ethiopia, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres today strongly urged the international community to bring greater support to both the peace process and the African Union peacekeeping role in Sudan's strife-torn Darfur region. Guterres pledged UNHCR's support to the AU in achieving success in this difficult yet necessary mission.

15 Dec 2005 description


13 Dec 2005 description

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis - to whom quoted text may be attributed - at the press briefing, on 13 December 2005, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

13 Oct 2005 description

On 14 September the government of Ethiopia issued a new directive mandating urban refugees and asylum seekers who arrived since the beginning of 2005 to relocate to Sherkole refugee camp in western Ethiopia.

27 Sep 2005 description

PRETORIA, 27 September (UNHCR) - The UN refugee agency has been conducting training sessions for state officials hired as part of the South African government's drive to improve its capacity to tackle the huge backlog of asylum seekers.

15 Sep 2005 description

SHERKOLE, Ethiopia, September 15 (UNHCR) - A crowd of more than 500 Sudanese refugees waits in anticipation as 19-year-old Dawit tries to light a temperamental firework backstage. Meanwhile, James, 22, wanders onto the stage, imitating a community elder and drawing laughter and attention. BANG! Dawit is successful. On cue, James hurls himself into the air and the circus has begun.

As the shock and laughter settle, the audience is immediately drawn to James, lying motionless and face down on the ground.

06 Sep 2005 description

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond - to whom quoted text may be attributed - at the press briefing, on 6 September 2005, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

UNHCR is appalled that yet another group of at least 45 Somalis and Ethiopians died last week at sea while crossing the Gulf of Aden in an attempt to reach Yemen aboard smugglers' boats from Somalia. The people were reportedly aboard four boats carrying up to 400 Africans that had sailed from Bossasso, in north-eastern Somalia.

17 Aug 2005 description

Amnesty International is calling on the Kenyan government to refrain from mass arrests and deportation of foreign nationals, following the expiry of the 15 August 2005 deadline for the registration of non-citizens. Since many persons still do not have the necessary registration documents, the organization is concerned that arbitrary arrests could follow in Kenya. Further, if returned to their country of origin, many persons could face human rights violations such as arbitrary arrests, torture and other ill-treatment and imprisonment without trial.

15 Jul 2005 description

GENEVA, July 15 (UNHCR) - Assistant High Commissioner Kamel Morjane has reiterated UNHCR's call for access to three Ethiopian airmen who reportedly defected to Djibouti in early June, but there are fears that they have already been returned to Ethiopia against their will.

The three Ethiopians - two pilots and an engineer - reportedly flew their Ethiopian military helicopter to neighbouring Djibouti around June 10.

05 Jul 2005 description
report Global IDP Project

GENEVA, 5 July 2005 - The Global IDP Project of the Norwegian Refugee Council calls on G8 leaders not to overlook the plight of Africa's internally displaced people in their plans to fight poverty on the continent. More than 13 million people have been uprooted within their own countries by conflicts in Africa. Unable to return to their homes, land and jobs, most of them live in extreme destitution and under constant threat of human rights abuses.

29 Jun 2005 description

AISHA CAMP, Ethiopia, June 29 (UNHCR) - The UN refugee agency has officially closed Aisha refugee camp in eastern Ethiopia a month after its last Somali residents went home. This leaves just one camp in an area that used to host the world's largest concentration of refugees.

At its peak in the early 1990s, there were 628,000 Somali refugees in eight camps in eastern Ethiopia. Since UNHCR began repatriating refugees to north-western Somalia, better known as the self-declared Republic of Somaliland, in 1997, most of the camps have been consolidated and finally closed.

23 Jun 2005 description

SHERKOLE CAMP, Ethiopia, June 23 (UNHCR) - "When you are in exile, even the slightest thing makes you homesick and depressed," said John Henuk, a Sudanese refugee in Ethiopia. "But on June 20, depression has no place at all. World Refugee Day has a special place in my heart as it comes with the magical power of making me forget all my worries."

Henuk was shaking off his worries by singing and dancing non-stop at the World Refugee Day celebrations in Sherkole camp, western Ethiopia.

27 May 2005 description

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond - to whom quoted text may be attributed - at the press briefing, on 27 May 2005, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

UNHCR is also moving one step closer to phasing out its operations in eastern Ethiopia, with the last convoy from Aisha camp scheduled to leave tomorrow (Saturday 28 May), for north-western Somalia (the self-declared Republic of Somaliland). With this 213th convoy carrying 325 refugees, UNHCR will have helped more than 240,000 Somali refugees in Ethiopia return home after many years in exile.

26 May 2005 description

DEGAGO, Ethiopia, May 26 (UNHCR) - Musse Abdi Jilal, a toothless village elder who claims to be 97 years old, remembers only too well what it was like in this desolate area before the UN refugee agency set up operations here to protect and care for Somali refugees.

"If we were ever sick, the closest place to get medical care was Aisha, 35 kilometres away," he says. "A donkey was the only way to get there, and it took one or two days to get to the doctor." Sometimes sick people died on the way.

Since 1989, when UNHCR opened the camp it called Aisha - in the place …

19 May 2005 description

A near verbatim transcript of the press briefing held by the Officer-in-Charge Public Information Office Musi Khumalo, via videoconference linking participants in Addis Ababa and Asmara. Also present at the briefing in Asmara was the UNMEE Force Commander, Major General Rajender Singh and UN MACC Programme Manager Phil Lewis.

20 Apr 2005 description

On November 25, 2004, 463 houses of the Guji-Oromo people in Nechasar National Park in southern Ethiopia were burned down by police and park authorities on November 25, 2004. Reportedly present also were representatives of the provincial government of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region (SNNPR).

06 Apr 2005 description

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, April 6 (UNHCR) - For many Africans, a one-way ticket to a beautiful, peaceful and prosperous country like New Zealand would be a dream come true.

Even though that's the prospect facing Eritrean refugee Oumer Abdelawel after two-and-a-half years in an Ethiopian refugee camp, he's feeling ambivalent about leaving his homeland forever: "For me it's a choice between bad and worse.

16 Mar 2005 description

AISHA REFUGEE CAMP, Ethiopia, March 16 (UNHCR) - Eleven years into his exile in Ethiopia, Mogadishu native Ali Abdi succumbed to unbearable homesickness and got up his nerve to go on a reconnaissance mission back to the violent Somali capital.