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Refugee News                        September 1997
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Albanian refugees: work permits from Greece, deportations from Italy 

The Greek government has promised to legalize the status of hundreds of thousands of illegal Albanian immigrants and let them work in the country. They will be issued with  four-month temporary work permits, which  can later be extended up to five years. 
In return, Albania promised to try to hold back immigrants by better patrolling the border. 


The Italian government, under pressure from the centre-right opposition alliance, part of the local press, and the Northern League is to begin deporting the close to 17,000 Albanian refugees who reached the country earlier this year. 

According to the Council of Ministers' resolution, the deportation will be carried out in stages, and is to be concluded by the end of November. 

The Albanian premier, Fatos Nano, asked Italy to postpone the repatriation but Prime Minister Prodi denied the request, saying the measure had already been delayed. 

Refugees who have obtained a temporary residency permit, and  family members, will be the last to leave, and will be able to return legally when Albania and Italy reach an immigration accord. 

But those 2000 or so who escaped from  the centres set up on purpose and have been living in Italy without documents will be repatriated as soon as they are found. 
Some 17,000 Albanian refugees escaped to Italy. Some 6,500 of them have already returned home. 


Albania: Greece To Legalize Immigrant Workers 

ITALY/REFUGEES - Albanian refugees to be deported: 

UNHCR - information on: Albania 

Albania - CRISIS '97 News Centre 

Refugee News:  
More about Albania 
More about Greece More about Italy 



Angola: 30,000 new displaced 

Heavy fighting between Angolan government forces and the 'former' rebels of  UNITA in northeastern Angola have greatly increased tensions throughout the country, with an increased military presence in rural areas. 

Because of this, the number of internally displaced people, mainly women and children, fleeing the conflict zones has increased dramatically. At least 30,000 have been displaced. 

In the mean time some 700 Angolan refugees have been expelled from Namibia. 

Appeal Angola Refugees 

UN Sanctions Angola's UNITA Ex-Rebels 

UNHCR - information on: 

Over 700 Angolans Expelled From Namibia 

Refugee News: More about Angola

Kenya: President wants refugees removed 

Kenya's President Daniel Arap Moi has directed the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to relocate all refugees in various camps in northern Kenya be in Somalia and Sudan if they refused to surrender fire arms in their possession. 

He  said his government had accommodated the refugees but his security personnel were not allowed to inspect the camps. 

Moi Orders Removal Of Refugees 

UNHCR - information on: 

Refugee News: More on Kenya



Palestinian refugees: cuts cancelled 

The United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) said on Wednesday it had cancelled the  cuts planned in services to millions of Palestinian refugees after donor countries made new pledges worth $19 million of funding. 

Palestinian refugees had taken to the streets in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and launched a boycott of UNRWA schools to protest the planned cuts. There were also protests in refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan. 

UNRWA said it would cancel the introduction of a $14 school fee and  will also lift a freeze on hospital reimbursements.

UN donors meet in Jordan amid protests: 

Palestinian refugees may win reprieve on cutbacks 

U.N. Palestinian refugee agency cancels school fee 

Palestinians list demands for United 

UNHCR - information on:  

Refugee News: More on Palestine




Saudi Arabia: Iraqi refugees re-settled 

Over 20,000 Iraqi Gulf War refugees from the camp at Rafha, on Saudi Arabia's northeastern border with Iraq have been resettled in host countries including the United States, Australia and Scandinavian states. 

In an effort to bring to an end a large six-year resettlement program, these countries have doubled their quotas for this year taking as many refugees as they can. They plan to close the program at the end of the year, leaving some 6,800 at the Rafha camp. 
A U.S.-led coalition based in Saudi Arabia ended Iraq's seven-month occupation of Kuwait in February 1991. The war forced some  32,000 Iraqi refugees  into Saudi Arabia including soldiers who did not want to go back and  Shiite dissidents who escaped after a postwar rebellion in southern Iraq was crushed by Saddam Hussein's forces. 

Resettling Saudi's Iraq refugees to end this year 

UNHCR information on:- 
Saudi Arabia 

Refugee News:-  
More on Iraq 
More on Saudi Arabia


Sierra Leone: Refugees Flood Liberian Border Towns 

Liberian President Charles Taylor is claiming that some  200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Sierra Leone have flooded towns on the Liberian border and that this is threatening a fragile peace process that ended a seven year civil war in Liberia. 

Sierra Leone has been in a state of increasing violence and uncertainty after  army  officers staged a coup on May 25 toppling elected president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. 

A Nigerian-led West African force whose main base is in Liberia is trying to enforce a regional embargo on Sierra Leone in a bid to topple the coup leaders. 

The multinational force has been involved in fighting with forces supporting  the new military government and ordinary cictezens caught in the violence and the embargo have been escaping in their thousands. 

The border between the two countries is an unstable region, controlled during the last few years by rebel forces from both countries.

Refugees Flood Liberian Border Towns 

UNHCR information on:- 
Sierra Leone  

Refugee News: More on Sierra Leone 
More on Liberia


Ukraine: UNHCR concerned about Tatars 

The U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, has decided to allocate 
$2.5 million towards the reintegrate Crimean Tatars in the 

     The High Commissioner, Sadako Ogata, has recently visited the former Soviet republic and obtained a promise from top officials that they will make thing easier for  Crimean Tatars who have returned  Crimea to obtain Ukrainian citizenship. 

     Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, some 250,000 Crimean Tatars have returned from Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to where they had been deported by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, who accused them of collaborating with the Nazis. 

     Crimean Tatar leaders have said that 70,000 of these returnees still have not obtained Ukrainian citizenship, which can be granted only after the individual has resided in the country for five years. 

Ukraine insists they renounce the citizenship of their country of origin before being considered for Ukrainian citizenship. But there are no guarantees this will be granted! Dual citizenship is not allowed. 

This problem is resulting in a lot of suffering for these people. Some 40 per cent of them are unemployed. 
They  cannot make use of free higher education, government jobs or buy shares in former state companies. 


UNHCR information on:- 

Refugee News:- More on Ukraine



U.S.A.: Less refugees entering 
Certain advocacy groups have recently expressed alarm at statistics that show the number of refugees admitted to the United States has declined by 40 percent in the last five years. In 1992, more than 132,000 refugees were admitted while the number for 1996 was about 78,000. This was the lowest in the last ten years and the government does not intend to decrease the quota for next year. 

1992 1993 1994 1995 1996
East Africa 51,848 49,858 43,581 36,926 19,234
Rest of Africa 5,491 6,969 5,856 4,779 7,502
Latin America 2,924 4,126 6,437 7,618 3,541
Middle East & South Asia 6,844 7,000 5,861 4,464 3,788
Eastern Europe & ex-USSR 64,184 51,278 50,947 45,703 41,617
Two reasons for this decline may be that the Indochinese boat-people crisis is coming to an end and that there is much more freedom in the former USSR. However human rights groups insist that this does not mean that there is more respect for human rights throughout the world. In many cases the plight of the oppressed has become even worse. Some maintain that the country can afford to admit more than 100,000 refugees each year. 

According to administration spokespersons most people seeking asylum nowadays are escaping civil strife and unstable situations more than oppression by their government. Very often they can soon be safely sent back home. 

Drop in refugees to U.S. causes alarm 

UNHCR information on:- 
United States 

Refugee News: More on U.S.A.