UNCHR : Reports that at least 98 People have Died and 41 were Recovered when a Boat Capsized on ` Lake Albert ‘ DRC’

#AceWorldNews – UGANDA – 24 March – At least 98 people died when a boat capsized on Lake Albert, which lies between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said on Monday.

“Based on information UNHCR has received so far from the authorities and refugees, 41 people were rescued and 98 bodies recovered” after Saturday’s disaster, AFP said, citing the refugee agency’s statement.

As many as 250 people may have been on board the boat,” the UNHCR said.

The vessel had been transporting Congolese refugees returning to their homeland from Uganda.

#ANS2014

#democratic-republic-of-congo, #drc, #uganda, #unchr

” 28,000 Refugees flee “Central African Republic’ to neigboring Cameroon in one month”

#AceWorldNews says around 28,000 people have fled from the conflict-torn Central African Republic to neighbouring Cameroon since the start of this month, the UN refugee agency said on Friday.

“The new arrivals from CAR are living in appalling conditions.

Most of them lack food and shelter,” AFP quoted Dan McNorton, spokesman for the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR), as saying.

Since a coup in March 2013, about 35,000 people, mainly Muslims escaping communal bloodshed, have fled across the border to Cameroon.

#afp, #cameroon, #car, #central-african-republic, #unchr

Central African Republic’s {CAR}: “UN Calls for Calm, Urging Authorities to Mobilize Around the Speedy Election of a New Transitional Leadership”

#AceWorldNews says following the resignation of the Central African Republic’s two interim leaders, the top United Nations official in the crisis-riven country called for calm today, urging the authorities to mobilze around the speedy election of new transitional leadership.
In a statement issued by his office in Bagui, Babacar Gaye, Special Representative and Head of the UN Integrated Peace-building Office for the Central African Republic (BINUCA), took note of the resignation yesterday of President Michel Djotodia and Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye.
“He calls on members of the National Transitional Council (CNT) to mobilize around the urgent election of a new transitional executive, as agreed at the extraordinary summit of Heads of States of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) yesterday, 10 January 2014, in N’djamena, Chad.” Armed attacks between ex-Séléka and Christian anti-balaka militias have escalated significantly in the past two weeks, despite the creation of a transitional government following the attack a year ago by mostly Muslim Séléka rebels which forced President François Bozizé to flee.
Since then, thousands of people are estimated to have been killed, nearly 1 million driven from their homes, and 2.2 million, about half the population, need humanitarian aid.
Delivering a message on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the ECCAS Summit on Thursday, Mr. Gaye stressed that the past year’s events have profoundly damaged the relationship between Muslim and Christian communities in the CAR, and warned that there is a real danger of further upheaval along religious lines.
“The horrific cycle of violence and retaliation between communities must stop immediately,” he said. “Distrust is high and violence has fuelled anger and a thirst for revenge,” he added, highlighting the need to prioritize reconciliation efforts. Disarmament of combatants in accordance with international standards is essential, Mr. Ban stressed, noting also the importance of demobilization and reintegration of the former fighters.
Today, Mr. Gaye called on the people and the leaders of the CAR to maintain calm and show maturity following the leaders’ resignations. “Along with the International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA), French forces, SANGARIS, have made important progress in securing Bangui,” he said, adding that their efforts must be supported, especially as numerous threats persist.

“The entire UN System and our humanitarian partners are fully mobilized to assist approximately two million people who are in urgent need of assistance across the country,” he said.
To that end, yesterday, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) issued an appeal for $40.2 million for CAR. That request, which is for the period to the end of March, follows appeals launched by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in late December for $152.2 million in immediate support needs for a 100-day plan for CAR.
UNHCR’s supplementary appeal for CAR aims to support more than 1 million people, including 86,400 refugees in neighbouring countries and 958,000 internally displaced persons.

#car, #central-african-republic, #ocha, #resignation, #unchr, #united-nations

Israel: “Could be Breaking International Law by Limiting Rights of Asylum Seekers”

#AceWorldNews says the United Nations refugee agency today warned that Israel could be breaking international law by limiting the rights of asylum-seekers with a new amendment to the country’s anti-infiltration law.

Of particular concern to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is a provision in the new Amendment requiring asylum-seekers to reside in a so-called open residence facility.

“Since the facility was housing people who cannot be returned to their countries of origin for reasons of non-refoulement, the organization is concerned that this facility could, in effect, result in indefinite detention, with no release grounds,” UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards said in Geneva.

The facility, located in the Negev desert, also restricts movement by mandating people reside there, and report in three times per day, among other discipline measures.

Mr. Edwards said that UNHCR understands the challenges faced by Israel in managing the reception of migrants and asylum-seekers. However, it was important that the treatment of asylum-seekers “be in line with international refugee and human rights law,” he concluded.

Under the Amendment, new asylum-seekers arriving in an irregular manner will automatically be detained for at least a year, as will people whose conditional release visas have expired.

Difficulties in renewing visas are meanwhile growing, the spokesperson noted, with reports of long queues and limited access to visa services.

#asylum-seekers, #geneva, #international-law, #unchr, #united-nations-refugee-agency

#AceWorldNews says that the worsening refugee crises in…

#AceWorldNews says that the worsening refugee crises in strife-torn Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan, the United Nations today appealed for $99 million in additional funding to aid 1.3 million people for the next 100 days, less than three weeks after launching an initial $360-million appeal.

“In the situations of both South Sudan and CAR, we are extremely concerned about the safety of refugees and displaced people, particularly with access being affected by the fighting and insecurity,” UN refugee agency (UNHCR) spokesperson Adrian Edwards told a news briefing in Geneva.

“Today’s appeals reflect the worsening situations in both cases, with hundreds of thousands of people now affected.”

Of the new funding, $59 million are targeted for South Sudan, where well over 1,000 people have been killed and some 300,000 others driven from their home since fighting erupted between Government and opposition forces less than a month ago.

The remaining $40.2 million is destined for CAR, where thousands of people are estimated to have been killed, nearly 1 million driven from their homes, and 2.2 million, about half the population, need humanitarian aid in a conflict which erupted when mainly Muslim rebels launched attacks a year ago and has taken on increasingly sectarian overtones as mainly Christian militias take up arms.

Both requests by UNHCR, which are for the period to the end of March, follow appeals launched by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on 31 and 24 December respectively on behalf of all UN agencies for $209 million for South Sudan $152.2 million in immediate support needs for a 100-day plan for CAR.

Mr. Edwards said the situation has continued to deteriorate in South Sudan, where the number of people fleeing to neighbouring countries has quickly increased to some 43,000 people, and Uganda now seeing between 4,000 and 5,000 arriving every day. Inside the country some 232,000 people have been driven from their homes, including 60,500 sheltering at 10 UN bases.

He said the appeal included projections of additional displacement between now and April. “It anticipates that refugee numbers could rise to 125,000 and that the number of people displaced within South Sudan could reach 400,000″, he noted. UNHCR emergency operations include

Today’s supplementary appeal for CAR aims to support more than 1 million people, including 86,400 refugees in neighbouring countries and 958,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs)..

In both countries, the crises have displaced tens of thousands more people over the past three weeks and “insecurity makes assisting them more expensive, having to resort to airlifts for example when roads are not safe,” Mr. Edwards stressed.

UNHCR emergency operations include registering, sheltering and protecting refugees, providing supplies to displaced people, designing and managing camps for them, and protecting the most vulnerable among them.

#central-african-republic, #ocha, #refugee, #south-sudan, #uganda, #unchr, #united-nations

After a Long Delay, Lebanon Finally Says Yes to Ikea Housing for Syrian Refugees

#AceWorldNews says It has taken more than six months of intense lobbying to convince the Lebanese government to allow even a trial run of the Ikea units. Now that they are permitted, it’s likely to take just as long to get a sufficient number of the shelters into the country, leaving entire families exposed to the elements as Lebanon’s vicious winter storms drive freezing rain, snow and wind through the informal refugee settlements that have sprung up across the country. UNHCR has delivered tens of thousands of emergency kits containing plastic tarps, blankets and timber to the estimated 125,000 refugees that have not been able to find adequate shelter. Still, it means that many can expect to spend the winter with little more to protect them from the elements than a thin plastic sheet. The government turnaround is a positive development, says Jean-Marie Garelli, UNHCR’s program director for the Syrian refugees. “However it will take some time to put these shelters in place. You won’t see a miracle in a week.”#Syria

Ace says here is a video link: http://world.time.com/2013/12/16/lebanon-says-no-to-ikea-housing-for-syrian-refugees-because-its-too-nice/

#lebanese, #refugees-of-the-syrian-civil-war, #unchr