Refugees in Africa

Essay by Yannick WurmB+, November 1996

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Report on Refugees in Africa

aka Da Foo-Gees ihn Ahfrikah


A refugee is a person who has fled or been expelled from his or her country of origin because of natural catastrophe, war or military occupation, or fear of religious, racial, or political persecution. (Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia).

Where African refugees are found:

Africa, with more than 600 different ethnic groups, has about one-third of the world's refugees, people uprooted by famine or by political liberation struggles and escaping racial and ethnic oppression and economic hardship. Caught in the turmoil that characterizes developing nations in the 20th century, some African nations have refugees going both in and out of their country, something that exists nowhere else.

There are currently over 6,500,000 refugees in Africa. Here is a small list of how many they are, and where they can be found:

® Zaire: This country has by far the largest number of refugees in Africa.

On the 21st of November 1996, the High Commissioner reported that over 1.4 million Rwandan Hutus were currently in this country. In addition there are about 500,000 Angolan, Sudanese and Burundi refugees in Zaire.

® Malawi is inhabited by 700,000 refugees from Mozambique.

® Sudan: The 650,000 refugees in Sudan come from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Chad

® Guinea: There are about 600,000 refugees in Guinea. Most of them are from Liberia and Sierra Leone.

® Tanzania hosts 500,000 Burundi's and refugees from Mozambique

These are only the five most significant African refugee host countries. Most other African countries also host refugees but this is where the largest part of them is.

A typical case study: A political crisis in Burundi:

Fights between government forces and armed groups in the area of a refugee camp in Burundi (Mugano) in January 1996 resulted in the mass...