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African Union: Number of internally displaced in Africa increasing

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Kampala_(dpa) _ The number of people being forced across borders into other countries on the African continent is decreasing but those displaced within their states through civil conflicts are on the increase, African Union and United Nations refugee officials said Friday.

One out of five of the world's 15 million refugees are in Africa while 15 million out of 24 million internally displaced people on earth are found on the continent, AU refugee officials told reporters in Uganda.

The AU is organizing a summit of heads of state in Uganda in early March 2009 to explore the causes, effects and solutions to the displacement of people on the continent.

With 3 million refugees, Africa has the largest number of refugees in the world. Chad has the biggest number of refugees in Africa, with a total of 350,000, due to the civil war in Sudan's neighbouring Darfur region, regional liaison representative for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Ethiopia, Ababa Illunga, told a news conference.

The first ever-ever summit on refugees is to take place between March 30 to April 3 next year. dpa hw mga

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