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24 Hours Across Africa

More than 70 million displaced worldwide, says UNHCR

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Source: BBC

The number of people fleeing war, persecution and conflict exceeded 70 million globally last year – the highest number in the UN refugee agency’s almost 70 years.

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The almost 70.8 million people forcibly displaced is up 2.3 million on the previous year, according to the agency’s annual Global Trends report.

This is also double the level recorded 20 years ago.

The number averaged out to 37,000 new displacements every day.

“What we are seeing in these figures is further confirmation of a longer-term rising trend in the number of people needing safety from war, conflict and persecution,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

“While language around refugees and migrants is often divisive, we are also witnessing an outpouring of generosity and solidarity, especially by communities who are themselves hosting large numbers of refugees.

The actual figure is likely to be higher as the Venezuela crisis is only partly reflected, the report states.

Around four million Venezuelans have fled their country, according to some figures from countries taking them in, making it one of the world’s biggest recent displacement crises.

The report identifies three main groups.

Firstly, there are refugees, or people forced to leave their country because of conflict, war or persecution. In 2018, the number of refugees reached 25.9 million worldwide, 500,000 more than in 2017. Included in this total are 5.5 million Palestine refugees.

The second group is 3.5 million asylum seekers. These are people outside their country of birth who are under international protection, but are yet to be granted refugee status.

Thirdly, there are internally displaced persons, or IDPs. These people are displaced within their country and amount to 41.3 million globally.

More than two thirds of all refugees worldwide came from Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia.

Syria had a considerably higher number than any other country with 6.7 million, followed by Afghanistan with 2.7 million.

Only 92,400 refugees were resettled in 2018, fewer than 7% of those awaiting resettlement.

The global population of forcibly displaced people has grown substantially from 43.3 million in 2009. Most of this increase was between 2012 and 2015 as a result of the Syrian conflict.

However, other conflicts have cropped up and continued across the globe, for example, in Iraq and Yemen in the Middle East, as well as parts of sub-Saharan Africa such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan.

The massive flow of Rohingya refugees to Bangladesh at the end of 2017 after they were driven out of Myanmar’s Rakhine state during military crackdowns was another major crisis.

At more than 1.5 million, Ethiopians were the largest newly displaced population in 2018, 98% of them internally, more than doubling the previous number.

These were mainly attributed to inter-communal violence throughout 2018, with communities living along disputed boundaries most affected.


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24 Hours Across Africa

Zimbawe’s doctor goes missing after masterminding strike

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Fearless Zimbabwe’s minister of health has called on the government to address insecurity lapses that has lead to the disappearance Peter Magombeyi, the head of a doctor’s union, who disappeared on Saturday.

Fears are rising over the fate of Zimbabwe medical doctor Dr Peter Magombeyi after he sent a message to say he had been abducted in that country by unknown persons – apparently for demanding a “living wage”.

An AFP report earlier on Sunday quoted the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctor’s Association (ZHDA) as saying Magombeyi had not been heard from since he sent a WhatsApp message on Saturday night saying he had been “kidnapped by three men”.

Zimbabwe doctors, who earn a miserly equivalent of about R3 000 are on strike to press for better wages, equipment and medicines in state hospitals.

The ZHDA has reportedly accused state security forces of abducting the doctor because of his role in organising work stoppages.

This week some doctors said the death of deposed Robert Mugabe, 95, in a Singapore hospital on 6 September was an indication of how bad health services in Zimbabwe

“Dr Magombeyi’s crime is only to ask for a living wage for his profession. This is a reflection of the troubles born out of refusal to implement Political Reforms.”

The Zimbabwe government led by Emmerson Mnangagwa has not publicly commented on the doctor’s disappearance

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24 Hours Across Africa

South Africans ask Nigerians for forgiveness as they troop out in masses

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Say no to Xenophobia, South Africans troop out in masses carrying banner and asking for forgiveness from Nigerians after weeks of xenophobic attacks.

The south Africans sangs as they marched through the street and also held up a banner which called for unity among Africans, week after the attack which led to destruction of properties and looting of shops owned by foreigners.

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