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Refugee News                       August1997
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Angola: Funding shortage hits UNHCR'S program 

UNHCR is worried that lack of funds may force the suspension or reduction of activities in Angola for the return and integration of a third of a million refugees. 
Earlier this year, the agency issued an appeal for $38 million for this year's activities. Up to now, donor contributions have reached only $4.6 million. 

UNHCR press release 6 June 1997 
Refugee News: More about Angola

Colombia: Rebels release soldiers 

The agreed release, in Colombia, of 70 soldiers by a rebel group could be the beginning of the end of a civil war that has created a million refugees in the last decade, 180,000 in 1996 alone.  

But doubts persist......

Refugee News: More about Colombia

E.U.: An attempt at greater harmonization 

One of the topics for discussion at the next European Summit in Amsterdam will be the need for more uniformity in dealing with refugees and asylum-seekers. 

Refugee News: More on E.U.

US Congress wants ban on landmines 

Members from both sides of Congress are in favour of a ban on antipersonnel landmines. These kill or injure someone every 15 minutes. 

International Campaign to Ban Landmines 
Refugee News: More on landmines

Fighting in 'old' Congo creates new refugees 

Heavy fighting raging between a political militia and government troops is forcing refugees to cross the Congo River to newly renamed 'Democratic Republic of Congo' i.e. Zaire. 
Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders said neither food nor medicine had reached about 10,000 refugees in Bilolo, about 20 miles outside Brazzaville, since the onset of unrest. 

UNHCR Concerned About Refugees in Brazzaville 
Refugee News: More about Rep. of Congo

Sierra Leone: Coup creates many new refugees 

Thousands of people have been fleeing the Sierra Leone capital, Freetown, as the threat of a military intervention by West African forces wanting to restore the country's deposed president threatens the city. 

Junior army officers toppled Ahmed Tejan Kabbah on May 25. 

As many as 300,000 people are said to have fled to the provinces as well as neighbouring countries since clashes between Nigerian and Sierra Leone troops broke. 

As many as 300,000 people have fled from the capital city, Freetown: 

Refugee News: More on Sierra Leone


Britain: Arbitrary detentions 

Some 13 asylum seekers continue to be held in indefinite detention in British prisons many weeks after they were arbitrarily removed from a hostel run by a private security firm, in Oxfordshire. 

Such transfers are thought to be a form punishment used regularly to discipline detainees. 

These 13 join a large group of asylum seekers who are currently held in prisons.

Refugee News: More on Britain

Vietnam refugees in Hong Kong get U.S. visas 

Members of an ethnic group known as the Nung, who helped the US forces during the Vietnam war, will soon leave their detention in Hong Kong and settle, with their families, in the United States. 

Refugee News: More on Vietnam

Bosnia: Electoral irregularities complicate matters for refugees 

In what is considered a serious threat to the credibility of Bosnia's coming local elections, and therefore to the peace process and the right of refugees to back to their hometowns, international monitors have found widespread voter registration fraud in the strategic city of Brcko. The whole process will have to start all over again.  

The same kind of fraud was also reported in other parts of Bosnia where Serbian officials feel they must retain control. 
The civil war in Bosnia has created about 2 million refugees mainly from ethnic minorities in their respective areas.  
The refugees' right to return was established in the Dayton peace accord but has, up to now, remained on paper.

Refugee News: More on Bosnia

U.S.A.: New law still causing uncertainty 

New legislation which came into effect on 1 April is still causing uncertainty amongst immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers. 

Immigration officials have repeatedly stressed that there will be no mass deportations. A number of cases are still pending in the courts. One class-action suit on behalf of some 40,000 Nicaraguans and other immigrants was in the news this week. 
A commission on Immigration Reform, which Congress created to make recommendations on refugees as well as immigration, has just issued its report on refugee matters. 
The U.S. admits about 100,000 refugees a year. 


Deportation stay for Nicaraguans ends: 

Refugee News: More on U.S.A. 

Refugee News: Vietnam refugees in Hong Kong get U.S. visas