By Kristy Siegfried | 6 November, 2019
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Crisis deepens in Cameroon. Ongoing fighting in Cameroon’s north-west and south-west has created a fast-growing humanitarian emergency, UN agencies said on Tuesday. Insecurity has left much of both regions out of bounds to aid workers at a time when nearly 2 million people are estimated to be in need, an 80 per cent increase from last year. Two months into the new school year, some 90 per cent of primary schools and 77 per cent of secondary schools in the two regions remain closed, leaving some 855,000 children out of school, according to UNICEF. Despite the worsening crisis, which has displaced more than half a million people, the humanitarian response in Cameroon is only 41 per cent funded for 2019.
Vulnerable refugees relocated from Niger to Italy. UNHCR flew a group of 54 refugees, including 23 children, from Niger to Italy on Tuesday. Most had previously been detained for long periods in Libya, where they suffered human rights abuses and were increasingly at risk of being caught up in the intensifying fighting. Jean-Paul Cavalieri, UNHCR’s representative in Libya, pointed out that thousands more refugees face dire situations in Libya and need the same support. “It’s crucial that other countries come forward with more places, and faster processes, to help us evacuate more vulnerable refugees in Libya to safety,” he said. UNHCR has evacuated more than 5,100 refugees and asylum-seekers out of Libya to other countries since 2017.
WHAT’S ON OUR RADAR
Concerns among Darfur’s displaced as new PM promises peace. During visits to two of the largest camps for internally displaced people in Sudan’s Darfur region on Monday, the country’s new prime minister, Abdallah Hamdok, promised that his transitional government would work towards achieving peace in the region and would not rest until refugees and the displaced had voluntarily returned to their homes. But Reuters reports that many families still consider it too dangerous to return home and that the once makeshift camps have solidified into settlements. Khartoum is engaging in peace talks with rebels from Darfur and other borderlands, but diplomats say the conflict has changed and fractured, with dwindling water resources fuelling clashes between farmers and nomads.
Cuban asylum-seekers wait at US-Mexico border. The Washington Post reports from the Mexican border city of Juárez, where Cubans are now thought to make up the largest group of foreign nationals. Cubans, who until 2017 were automatically admitted to the United States as political refugees, are now facing the same restrictions on asylum as other nationalities. The new restrictions have coincided with a surge in Cubans fleeing their homeland, with more than 21,000 Cubans detained at the US border in the year ending September 30, more than triple the number for fiscal year 2018. Cubans waiting in Mexico are perceived as better off than other asylum-seekers, making them particularly vulnerable to thieves and kidnappers, reports the Post.
Displaced by Idlib fighting, a Syrian family finds shelter in a cave. As part of Channel 4’s Inside Idlib series of films about daily life in Syria’s last opposition-held enclave, this report focuses on one family who are carving out a home in a cave after their village in southern Idlib was destroyed by bombing and they failed to find space in overcrowded camps for displaced people near the Turkish border. “A cave is better than a tent,” says Abu Ahmed, who plans to live in the cave with his wife and three young children.
Chol Majok, who fled South Sudan when he was eight years old, became the first former refugee to be elected to office in the American city of Syracuse, in New York State, on Tuesday. As a member of the 3rd District Common Council, he will represent six of the city’s southern-most neighbourhoods.
DID YOU KNOW?
In the first 10 months of the year, the Libyan coast guard rescued or intercepted 8,155 people from boats departing from the Libyan coast. During the same period last year, 14,249 people were intercepted.