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Most read reports
In March I wrote a commentary for the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement considering lessons learned from responses to migration and displacement resulting from the events of the Arab Spring, focusing on the differential impacts of conflict on migration across the region, protection gaps for non-citizens who are displaced by political instability, and contrasting European and North African responses to migration and displacement.
This time last year about 1,000 people per hour were fleeing Libya into Egypt and Tunisia. In total perhaps two million people have left their homes over the last year as a result of the impact of the Arab Spring across North Africa and the Middle East, and at least thirty countries have been directly affected by these flows. Many have since returned to their homes in Libya, but there are still at least 90,000 people internally displaced there; while the current estimate for displacement in and from Syria is at least 150,000 and rising rapidly.
August 15, 2011 —
Speaking last Thursday UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern over civilian casualties in Libya. His remarks came in response to a NATO air strike on Libyan State Television transmitters last month, and other more recent strikes that have allegedly killed civilians, an especially poignant mistake given that the principal rationale for UN Security Council Resolution 1973 was to protect civilians from Colonel Gaddafi.
Already in 2011, political upheaval and violence in Ivory Coast and Libya has caused hundreds of thousands to pour across borders into neighboring states in West and North Africa, joining millions of people around the world living as refugees, internally displaced persons and asylum seekers. For sixty years, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been at the heart of the international community’s response to these crises, and it remains so today.