Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
Congo, Somalia conflicts make 350,000 new refugees
Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:29am EST
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Frank Nyakairu
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Enduring conflicts in east and central Africa have produced some 350,000 new refugees since October, worsening an already dire humanitarian situation, aid agencies say.
The region already hosts the continent's biggest number of refugees, but conflicts in Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia are forcing many more from their homes.
"Multiple conflicts in the region have worsened the refugee situation in the region," said Hassan Yusuf, spokesman for the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) in Kenya.
"We have seen the worst in recent months, seeing thousands of new refugees both internally and externally," he said.
Somalia, the Horn of African country plagued by war since 1991 has the highest numbers of internal and external displacements, uprooted since Islamist insurgents started fighting the Western-backed government more than two years ago.
The crisis considered most acute and edging toward a humanitarian catastrophe is the displacement hundreds of thousands of Congolese by Ugandan rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and Congolese Tutsi rebels.
Since December at least 150,000 Congolese refugees have been uprooted by insurgency in the volatile northeast and forced to seek refugee in neighboring Southern Sudan and Uganda.
"The latest group of refugees and most affected is in Orientale Province of Congo, where over 150,000 people have been forced to flee LRA attacks and for the first time 15,000 of those fleeing to southern Sudan," said Hassan.
A joint military offensive by Uganda, Congolese and Sudanese forces in December was followed by indiscriminate attacks on civilians by highly mobile remnants of the LRA in the region.
The LRA, whose leadership is wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity, has fought for more than two decades to replace Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's government with one based on the Ten Biblical commandments.
In Congo's South and North Kivu regions, a conflict between government forces and Congolese Tutsi rebels has forced thousands to flee into neighboring Uganda.
"In Uganda, the recent influx of 47,000 Congolese refugees is seen as more sustained than previous influxes. This is considered an acute humanitarian situation," said Kristen Knutson, spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Uganda.
A recent offensive in Congo against Hutu rebels responsible for the 1994 Rwanda genocide, has also forced 6,000 refugees into enter Uganda.
Somalia, however, has the highest number of internal refugees. Aid workers put the number at 1.3 million, with 160,000 new internal refugees in the past four months.
"This is the highest it has ever been and it has been worsened by strict border controls on the Ethiopian and the Kenyan sides because refugees cannot leave the country," said UNHCR's Hassan. Continued...
View article on single page
Greece says pirates seize cargo ship off Somalia
Digital music services flunk college test
Slideshow: Festivities at the Vienna Ball
No sign of recession at pre-Oscar gift suites
More International News
Blast in China coal mine kills 74
Australia mourns victims of bushfire disaster
Pakistan to allay U.S. fears on pact with Islamists
U.S. and Iraq launch new bid to eradicate al Qaeda
Netanyahu says can work with Obama for peace
More International News...
Insurgents target peacekeepers in Somalia
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
Swiss party wants to punish U.S. for UBS probe
Soros sees no bottom for world financial "collapse" | Video
Obama aims to halve deficit by 2013
Pope warns on new eugenics based on beauty
UPDATE 2-US bank stress tests to show capital needs -source
U.S. police plan arrest in Chandra Levy murder
Yahoo may reveal revamping next week: report
U.S. bank stress tests to show capital needs: source
Oscars set to shake up their act | Video
BofA's investment bank "fun" may be done for good | Video
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
Roubini says crisis end distant
Rwanda troops begin withdrawal
Tamil rebel pilots shot down
How bank nationalization would work
Anti-whaling row intensifies
Clinton urges China go 'clean'
Inside Stanford's world
Clinton China tour kicks off
Man fed manure in police initiation
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
the great debate
Obama's foreign policy challenges
President Barack Obama’s toughest foreign-policy challenge will be in managing the sheer number of complex problems he’s inherited and their refusal to arrive in orderly fashion. Commentary
The global destination for corporate leaders, deal-makers and innovators
Knowledge to Act
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Interactive TV |
Reuters in Second Life |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.