Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ethiopia Now The Biggest Refugee-hosting Country In Africa - World News Report

For Refugees (UNHCR) says Ethiopia has overtaken Kenya to become the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, sheltering 629,718 refugees as of the end of July.

Kenya, in comparison, is host to 575,334 registered refugees and asylum-seekers, according to the UNHCR.

The main factor for the increase in numbers seen in Ethiopia is the conflict in South Sudan, which erupted in mid-December last year and has sent 188,000 refugees into Ethiopia since the beginning of 2014.

There are at present 247,000 South Sudanese refugees in the country, making them the largest refugee population. They are followed by Somalis (245,000) and Eritreans (99,000).

Over the last seven months, nearly 15,000 Eritreans and more than 3,000 Somalis arrived in Ethiopia.

"Together with the Ethiopian government and other partners, we are providing protection and humanitarian aid in 23 refugee camps and five transit sites around the country," said UNHCR Spokesman Adrian Edwards.

Three of the camps and three transit sites in Ethiopia are new, having been opened since the beginning of the year to handle the growing number of refugees fleeing the fighting in South Sudan. All three camps are have reached their capacity and the UNHCR is developing two more.

While refugees wait to be moved to the new camps, more than 18,000 are sheltered in three temporary sites in Pagak, Pamdong and Matar in Gambella Region (Province) in western Ethiopia.

However, in recent weeks heavy rain has flooded these three low-lying sites, as well as Leitchuor Camp, where the situation is most serious. Some 10,000 refugees, or more than a fifth of Leitchuor's population of 47,600, have been hit by flooding.

Many tents and shelters are under water and latrines have collapsed. This is a serious health concern which threatens to undermine gains made in preventing the outbreak of water-borne diseases.

"We are working with our partners to drain the accumulated rainwater into a nearby small stream as quickly as possible. We are also speeding up development of the new Nip Nip camp-some three kilometers from Leitchuor. It will be able to accommodate 20,000 refugees," said Edwards.

South Sudan's crisis has caused massive displacement internally and into neighbouring countries. As of mid-August, 1.861 million South Sudanese had been forcibly displaced, of whom almost 1.3 million are internally displaced and more than 575,000 have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.

South Sudan is also continuing to host some 243,000 refugees, the majority from Sudan.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Athlete told police she left track meet due to civil unrest in Ethiopia | Sports | Eugene News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News | KVAL CBS 13

EUGENE, Ore. - One of the Ethiopian athletes found safe after disappearing from the IAAF World Junior Championships told police in Washington that she plans to seek asylum in the United States.

Zeyituna Mohammed, one of the four runners who were the subject of a missing persons case, said the four left the meet due to civil unrest in Ethiopia.

The missing person cases were closed after all 4 athletes told authorities they left of their own accord and were safe.

Three of the athletes were found in Beaverton.

The fourth - Mohammed - was discovered when a man identified as Rashad Wako called Eugene Police Department indicating Mohamed was in no danger and staying with him and his family in Federal Way, Washington, according to a police report.

Federal Way Police went to the home and made contact with Mohammed.

When interviewing her, Mohammed told police she ran races at the World Juniors in Eugene, then decided to leave the campus with three other runners by simply walking away.

She told police the decision was made due to civil unrest in Ethiopia.

She said she probably wants to stay in the US and may seek asylum in the US, but her plans aren’t certain as of now.

Mohammed told police one of the older runners made phone calls and facilitated Mohamed getting picked up by Rashad Wako.

Mohammed and Wako are from the same village in Ethiopia, which is how the connection was made.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Blogger files lawsuit against Ethiopia’s government - ITWeb Africa

Blogger files lawsuit against Ethiopia’s government - ITWeb Africa: "Blogger files lawsuit against Ethiopia’s government

Published on 04 August 2014
By Simnikiwe Mzekandaba
US-based blogger Elias Kifle has filed a $120 million counter lawsuit against Ethiopia’s government, US lawfirm DLA and Saudi Arabian billionaire Mohammed Al Amoudi.

Kifle, a blogger for, says he filed the lawsuit in Atlanta’s US District Court for the Northern Georgia District.

Kifle alleges that Al Amoudi, the government of Ethiopia, DLA Piper, the deputy prime minister of Ethiopia Debretsion Gebremichael, and the Ethiopian government’s chief of security Getachew Assefa of “serially harassing” him.

Kifle's lawsuit follows a defamation claim filed against him by Saudi Arabian billionaire Mohammed Al Amoudi's business partner, Jemal Ahmed.

UK criminal complaint over alleged Ethiopian digital spying
Ethiopia's internet repression strengthens
Elias Kifle
Mohammed Al Amoudi
Kifle stands; though, accused of falsely reporting that Ahmed -- who owns farms in Ethiopia that exports farm products to Saudi Arabia through his companies Saudi Star and Horizon Plantations -- is engaged in human trafficking and the illegal grabbing of land from small farmers.

And Kifle says that since writing his report on Ahmed, he has been harassed, “hindering his constitutionally protected work, causing emotional distress to his family, and causing severe economic harm to him.”

“Mr Kifle also accuses DLA Piper, a large law firm with 4,000 lawyers, of extortion, racketeering and a relentless campaign of harassment on behalf of the Ethiopian government and its supporters,” says Kifle in a statement.

In his lawsuit, Kifle alleges “civil rights violations,” “abuse of process,” and “economic harm” against him.

Blogging controversies in Ethiopia

Meanwhile, a case filed against six bloggers from the group of Ethiopian bloggers and activists, Zone 9, and three journalist has been adjourned to August 20 in Ethiopia.

The court case was scheduled to start today but has since been moved to later this month.

A tweet from @zone9ners reads: “Closed to public trial of @zone9ners and three Journalists case adjourned for Aug 20, 2014.” #Ethiopia #FreeZone9Bloggers

The bloggers and journalists have been charged under Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism law.

They are accused of posting articles about the state of the country and human rights issues.

Earlier this year, ITWeb Africa also reported that watchdog group Privacy International has filed a criminal complaint in the UK alleging that Ethiopia has been spying on a political refugee’s digital communications.

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'via Blog this'

AIDS conference delegates from Ethiopia seek asylum in Australia

“It’s hard though when people do not have any money at all,": Heather Hoist.

“It’s hard though when people do not have any money at all,": Heather Hoist. Photo: Getty Images
At least 25 delegates who attended Melbourne’s high-profile AIDS conference intend to seek asylum in Australia after failing to board their flights home last week.
The men and women, who are mostly from African countries including Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia, decided to stay in Melbourne after the week-long conference finished on July 25.
Many of them are now homeless and have been put up in motels, backpacker hostels and rooming houses across the city.
Fairfax Media has spoken to three male African asylum seekers at length, but has chosen not to identify them over concerns for their safety if they were forced to return to their home countries.
One of the men said he had been imprisoned multiple times because he was a member of an opposition political party. Another has faced violent persecution because of his ethnicity. ''People told me ‘you should go back to your own country’,'' he said.
About 13,600 delegates from more than 200 countries visited Melbourne in late July as part of the 20th International AIDS conference, an event headlined by former US president Bill Clinton.
It is understood Melbourne refugee support agencies have since been contacted by 25 delegates who attended the conference.
Heather Holst chief executive of homelessness service HomeGround, confirmed the organisation was assisting 14 delegates to find and pay for accommodation.
She said the asylum seekers’ tourist visas had expiry dates in either August or October. HomeGround has funding to house the group for at least three weeks.
“It’s hard though when people do not have any money at all,” Dr Holst said.
It is not yet clear if any of the group are living with HIV, as was the case in 2006 when more than 130 HIV-positive South African women sought asylum in Canada after the Toronto AIDS conference.
Nor is it the first time delegates attending major world events in Australia have failed to make the trip home. Similar bids for asylum were made after 2008 World Youth Day festivities in Sydney and the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
Following the 2008 Homeless World Cup in Melbourne, 49 soccer players from Africa and the Middle East sought refugee status.
At the time Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said there was always a risk delegates who visited for major world events would not want to return home.
“While we could never condone people overstaying their visas, it would be quite overwhelming to come from some of these trouble-spots, these war-torn spots in the world, into beautiful Melbourne,” he said.
A spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Scott Morrison declined to comment on the latest case.
“For privacy reasons we do not discuss individual applications. All claims for protection are considered on their individual merits and according to law,” she said.

Some in the group of asylum seeker delegates say they have left partners and children in Africa. One man said: ''Now I am feeling free, but I’m feeling worried about my family.''

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Ethiopian, Eritreaa and Sudan, new migrant queue at Calais: waiting for the first chance to escape | Mail Online

From Eritrea and Sudan, the new migrant queue at Calais: Latest illegal encampment to spring up has hundreds who are currently waiting for the first chance to escape 

  • Hundreds of migrants set up new illegal camp in French port of Calais
  • Squalid, tented squat on town's outskirts has been nicknamed 'Jungle 2'
  • It was set up two months after previous one in the town was bulldozed 
  • Most of the migrants in the camp are from Eritrea, Sudan and Ethiopia  
They are desperate, defiant – and determined to get to England. 
Many had scaled mountains, crossed deserts and sailed across an ocean to get here. 
Some of their companions had drowned, perished from starvation or been arrested before they made it.
Scroll down for video 
Huddled in the sun: Africans from the Jungle 2 camp in Calais, France wait for food handouts

Huddled in the sun: Africans from the Jungle 2 camp in Calais, France wait for food handouts
Little wonder that on Friday, above a shoreline from which they could see the White Cliffs of Dover, these refugees, homeless chancers and would-be migrants, mainly from Eritrea, Sudan and Ethiopia, were so confident that a new life in Britain would be the next stop.
This is the latest illegal encampment to spring up in Calais – and hundreds are currently waiting for the first chance to escape.
They have nicknamed it Jungle 2 – a squalid, tented squat on the outskirts of the French port. The previous one in the town was bulldozed two months ago. 
That followed the clearance in 2009 of the original Jungle area on the outskirts, and the razing of the notorious Sangatte refugee centre in 2002.
All of that was meant to have put an end to the constant, ever-growing flow of hopefuls waiting to cross the Channel by any means possible. 
All it did was to drive them to other parts of Calais.
Desperate: Two migrants try to break into a container lorry

Desperate: Two migrants try to break into a container lorry
And so, Jungle 2 is currently a miserable but convenient stepping-stone to the UK for more than 500 itinerants, a population rapidly swelling with families fleeing Eritrea, Sudan and Ethiopia.
So it is not surprising that on Friday – despite threats of eviction, alleged beatings from police and an international outcry by homeless charities and migrant help groups – so many insisted they would stay for as long as it takes to get to England.
As one teenage Eritrean put it: ‘We will get there eventually.’
The new Jungle is situated on the seaward side of a road used by lorries heading to the port. 
It is a swathe of wasteland and sand dunes, owned and used by a chemical factory to bury supposedly non-toxic waste. 
Many of the migrants are men in their twenties, sometimes accompanied by women and children. 
They spend nights under canvas with no drinking water or sanitary facilities – then attempt to leap on UK bound trucks about to board ferries. 
Others attempt to cut their way into trailers at truckers’ cafés, where drivers rest before crossing to the UK.
Large numbers of Africans started to arrive after being evicted from squats in Calais and random camps on the outskirts of town, joining Afghans, Iraqis and Pakistanis evicted from previous camps.
They were among thousands of migrants who have risked their lives crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe and a better life.
Many have perished either from drowning or suffocation on overcrowded fishing boats they sailed in.
Luckier ones were rescued by the Italian navy after their boats got into difficulties near the island of Lampedusa, 100 miles from Sicily.


Six suspected illegal migrants were caught by police after smuggling themselves into Britain in a shipment of new Maseratis.
Officers were involved in a dramatic chase at a motorway service station after the men climbed out of the sports cars and tried to run.
The would-be migrants from Sudan had hidden themselves inside the Maseratis, which can cost as much as £110,000, on the back of a transporter.
Six suspected illegal migrants were caught by police after smuggling themselves into Britain in a shipment of new Maseratis

Six suspected illegal migrants were caught by police after smuggling themselves into Britain in a shipment of new Maseratis
They escaped detection because the Italian-made cars were covered in protective fabric sleeves which can be unzipped.
But when the lorry driver parked up at Cobham Services on the M25 in Surrey yesterday the men tried to make a run for it.
It is not known when the men hid themselves in the sports cars. They were handed over to immigration officials, who will assess whether they have a right to remain here.
Yesterday, a water pipe to a factory sports hall, tapped into by migrants for their water supply, was cut off.
They now have to rely on bottles of mineral water brought by aid workers to drink and wash themselves. 
Sixteen-year-old Eritrean girls Almas and Halan told the Daily Mail they had taken months to reach Calais from their homeland.
‘We both want to learn, to study commercial sciences in England,’ said Almas. 
Sixteen-year-old Eritrean girls Almas (left) and Halan (right) said they had taken months to reach Calais from their Eritrea

Sixteen-year-old Eritrean girls Almas (left) and Halan (right) said they had taken months to reach Calais from their Eritrea
Eritreans and Ethiopean migrants camp in the grounds of a chemical factory in Calais. The encampment has been dubbed Jungle 2

Eritreans and Ethiopean migrants camp in the grounds of a chemical factory in Calais. The encampment has been dubbed Jungle 2
‘We just want a life. We left Eritrea because there was no life for us there. We will eventually reach England but we have no money to pay people smugglers to get us on to lorries so we will just carry on trying to stow away.’
There are numbers of Sudanese at the camp, as well as some Afghans whose tents are pitched away from the Africans. 
Arrested migrants are usually released after several hours. 


Ed Balls has admitted Labour can’t win the next election unless it becomes tougher on immigration.
The Shadow Chancellor said Europe’s freedom of movement rules needed to be reformed. His intervention comes amid growing concern among senior Labour figures that the party could lose votes to Ukip in May’s election.
Mr Balls said Labour would seek to toughen up laws which allow EU citizens to enter Britain with few restrictions. He said the party could not afford to look ‘out of touch’ on immigration if it was to have a chance of victory.
In an interview with the Telegraph, he also refused to rule out new taxes to fund social care or the NHS, saying people ‘rightly feel they pay too much tax already’.
He added: ‘If we are going to win the next election, which I think we can, on jobs and the NHS and standing up for people on low and middle incomes against an out-of-touch government, then we cannot look out of touch on an issue that people really care about.’
In some cases they are deported, usually to Belgium as migrants claim that their point of entry into the EU was in that country. 
The migrants then return the few miles from Belgium to resume attempts to stow away to Britain.
Calais authorities insisted migrants would be evicted from the camp ‘imminently’. 
A police spokesman likened the job of controlling increasingly angry and frustrated migrants to ‘trying to empty an ocean with a teaspoon’.
Meanwhile, another night of opportunity beckoned for those trying to smuggle themselves to Britain.
Additional reporting by Tim Finan

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