Congo Watch: Number of refugees: Sudan 5m - DRC 3m - Uganda 2m

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Number of refugees: Sudan 5m - DRC 3m - Uganda 2m

African leaders bear much of the responsibility for the continent's 12 million people living in poverty in their own countries after being driven from their homes, a senior United Nations official said on Wednesday, Reuters reported March 22, 2006. Excerpt:

Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland was speaking at the launch of a report showing that last year Africa accounted for half of the world's "internal refugees" and Zimbabwe alone for nearly a third of the 2 million new ones.

"The African leadership has been horrendous in the last generation in so many of these situations, and they have to face the truth," Egeland, former head of Norway's Red Cross, told a news conference.

The Norwegian report, "Internal Displacement: Global View of Trends and Developments in 2005", said Sudan with 5 million remained the country with most internal refugees, and numbers were swelling further because of the conflict in Darfur.

Uganda, which Egeland said he planned to visit shortly, had 2 million internal refugees, almost all in the north of the country where a rebel Lord's Resistance Army has created havoc for years and regularly raids camps for the displaced.

The DRC still had 1.7 million, and there were 1.3 million in Iraq, many of them left over from population movements enforced under the regime of Saddam Hussein ousted by a U.S.-led invasion three years ago.

The Norwegian report is available at www.internal-displacement.org.

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