Asylum Crisis In Rich Countries, But Why?
With all the frenetic and unsubstantiated claims of African immigrants swamping rich countries, this contention should best be judged by the real figures on the ground. The figures published here come from the Washington based US Committee for Refugees which kindly gave us permission to quote some of their well researched data published in their 2003 World Refugee Survey. Compare how many Africans actually “flee” abroad to those who stay on African soil.
People at one time or another have fled to other countries for various reasons. Hunger, wars, climate and so forth. The law of nature teaches us that you don’t have to stay in one place and die of hunger, poverty and harsh conditions that man can change. You move to find food and good economy. It is based on the above principles that in 19th centaury, the Europeans moved all over the world to find food and to a void poverty. In today’s parlance, they would be called economic immigrants deserving arrest at the airport and deported. They arrived in Africa without passports and visas but they were made welcomed. Many have ignored the fundamental part played by Africa “host” in slavery and colonialism. Let African in Europe just like they did 100 years ago. I think Africa was first to understand the term universal democracy whereby people can live and work where they want without restrictions.
Angola: Millions of Angolans remained uprooted at the end of 2002, including 2 million to 3.5 million people displaced within the country itself and nearly 410,000 others seeking asylum outside the country. Approximately 190.000 Angola refugees lived in Zambia in 2002, 150,000 Congo-Kinshasa, 30,000 in Congo-Brazzaville, 25,000 in Namibia, 5,000 in South Africa and 2,000 in Botswana. This compares with 7,000 Angolan asylum applicants in industrialised countries. About 12,000 refugees from DRCongo continued to live in Angola in 2002.
Burundi: More than 400,000 Burundians were refugees at the end of 2002, including at least 370,000 in Tanzania; an estimated 20,000 in DR.Congo; nearly 3,000 in Malawi; more than 2,000 in Rwanda; some 2,000 in South Africa; approximately 1,000 each in Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe; and more than 2,000 in a half-dozen other countries. In addition, an estimated 470,000 Burundians lived without official refugee status in western
Tanzania villages and settlements. Approximately 400,000 or more Burundians were internally displaced at the end of 2002, including some 300,000 living in camps. Burundi, on the other hand, hosted more than 40,000 refugees at the end of 2002, mostly from DRCongo.
CAR: Some 50,000 refugees from other countries lived in Central African Republic in 2002, including 35,000 or more from Sudan, about 11,000 from DRCongo, nearly 2,000 Republic from various other countries.
Cóte d’Ivoire: An estimated half a million or more Ivorians were newly uprooted at the end of 2002, including at least 500,000 internally displaced persons and about 25,000 refugees and asylum seekers. Some 20,000 Ivorian refugees lived in Liberia, 2,000 in Guinea, and 1,000 in Mali. This compares with nearly 2,000 Ivorian asylum seekers in industrialised countries. On the other hand, about 50,000 refugees from other countries remained in Cóte d’Ivoire in 2002, the vast majority from Liberia.
DRCongo: DRCongo was the source of more than 2.4 million uprooted people at the end of 2002, including 2 million or more internally displaced persons and nearly 410,000 refugees and asylum seekers. Significant numbers of Congolese refugees lived in 13 African countries, including 140,000in Tanzania, 80,000 in Congo-Brazzaville, 50,000 in Zambia, 40,000 in Burundi, 30,000in Rwanda, 12,000 in Angola, 11,000 in Central African Republic, 10,000 in Uganda, 8,000 in South Africa, 5,000 in Zimbabwe, 4,000 in Mozambique, 3,000 in Malawi, and I,000 in Benin. This compares with 15,000 Congolese asylum seekers in western countries in 2002. On the other hand, in 2002 DRCongo hosted more than 270,000 refugees from neighbouring countries, including 150,000 from Angola, 70,000 from Sudan, 20,000 from Uganda, 20,000 from Burundi, 10,000 from Central African Republic, 3,000 from Congo-Brazzaville, and 1,000 from Rwanda. An additional 25,000 Rwandans lived in DRCongo in refugee-like circumstances, their status undetermined because their individual asylum claims could not be assessed amid the war in Congo.
Eritrea: Nearly 290,000 Eritreans were refugees at the end of 2002, including some 280,000 in Sudan, nearly 5,000 in Ethiopia and about 1,000 in
Yemen. This compares with about 3,000 Eritrean asylum seekers in various western countries.
Ethiopia: Ethiopia hosted nearly 115,000 refugees at the end of 2002, including more than 90,000 from Sudan, 20,000 from Somalia, and nearly 5,000 from Eritrea. Yet more than 20,000 Ethiopians were refugees or asylum seekers at the end of 2002, including more than 10,000 in Kenya, 2,000 in Sudan, nearly 2,000 in Djibouti, and more than 1,000 in Yemen. This compares with an estimated 6,000 Ethiopian asylum applicants in Europe and the United States.
Ghana: Ghana hosted more than 40,000 refugees at the end of 2002, including an estimated 110,000 from Liberia, 70,000 from Sierra Leone, and nearly 1,000 from Togo. About 3,000 new asylum seekers entered the country during the year. This compares with nearly 2,000 Ghanaians asylum seekers in western countries.
Guinea: Guinea hosted more than 180,000 refugees at the end of 2002, including an estimated 110,000 from Liberia, 70,000 from Sierra Leone, and 2,000 from Cóte d’Ivoire. About 5,000 Guineans were asylum seekers in industrialised countries during the same period.
Kenya: Kenya hosted approximately 220,000 refugees and asylum seekers at the end of 2002, including more than 140,000 from Somalia, nearly 70,000 from Sudan, some 10,000 from Ethiopia, and more than 1,000 from other countries. An estimated 230,000 Kenyans were internally displaced at the end of 2002. This compares with about 2,000 Kenyans who sought asylum in various western countries.
Nigeria: Nearly 30,000 Nigerians were refugees and asylum seekers at the end of 2002, including an estimated 15,000 in Cameroon, several hundred in various African nations, and about 14,000 in western countries. On the other hand, Nigeria hosted more than 7,000 refugees at the end of 2002, including more than 3,000 from Chad, about 2,000 from Sierra Leone, and nearly 2,000 from Liberia.
Liberia: Approximately 380,000 or more Liberians were uprooted at the end of 2002; nearly 280,000 of them became refugees and asylum seekers in neighbouring countries, including some 110,000 in Guinea, 60,000 in Sierra Leone, 50,000 in Cóte d’Ivoire, 35,000 in Ghana, and about 2,000 in West African countries. Some 20,000 Liberians left for the US and other industrialised countries during the same year.
Rwanda: Nearly 50,000 Rwandans were refugees or asylum seekers at the end of 2002, including nearly 20,000 in Uganda, 7,000 in Malawi, 5,000 each in Congo-Brazzaville and in Zambia,3,000 in Zimbabwe, 3,000 in Tanzania, 2,000 in Mozambique, nearly 1,000 in DRCongo, 1,000 in Burundi, and about 1,000 in South Africa. This compares with 2,000 Rwandans who sought asylum in Europe. Meanwhile Rwanda hosted nearly 35,000 refugees at the end of 2002, including more than 30,000 from DRCongo-Kinshasa and at least 2,000 from Burundi.
Senegal: Approximately 10,000 Senegalese were refugees at the end of 2002, including some 6,000 in Guinea-Bissau, and about 5,000 in the
Gambia. In contrast, Senegal hosted nearly 45,000 refugees and asylum seekers at the end of 2002, including an estimated 40,000 from
Mauritania and about 5,000 from various African countries.
Sierra-Leone: More than 130,000 Sierra Leoneans remained refugees or asylum seekers at the end of 2002, including some 70,000 in Guinea, an estimated 40,000 in Liberia, 5,000 in Ghana, 5,000 in Gambia and 2,000 in Nigeria. This compares with 10,000 Sierra Leonean asylum seekers in the US and other industrialised countries. During the same period, more than 200,000 Sierra Leoneans uprooted by war returned to their home areas. Meanwhile, Sierra Leone hosted about 60,000 refugees from Liberia, including some 40,000 who arrived during 2002.
Somalia: Nearly 300,000 refugees and asylum seekers from Somalia lived in about two dozen countries at the end of 2002, including more than 140,000 in Kenya, nearly 80,000 in Yemen, 21,000 in Djibouti, about 20,000 in Ethiopia, 7,000 in South Africa, 7,000 in Egypt, 3,000 in Tanzania, 3,000 in Libya, 2,000 in Eritrea, and about 1,000 in Uganda. In contrast, there were more than 15,000 asylum seekers in the US and Europe. But approximately 350,000 Somalis were internally displaced at the end of 2002.
South Africa: South Africa hosted some 65,000 refugees and asylum seekers at the end of 2002, including about 25,000 recognised refugees and 40,000 asylum seekers whose asylum applications were still under review at the end of the year. The 25,000 recognised refugees included nearly 8,000 from DRCongo, nearly 7,000 from Somalia, 5,000 from Angola, 2,000 from Burundi, 1,000 from Rwanda and 2,000 from other countries. Government records did not indicate the nationalities of nearly 40,000 asylum seekers whose applications for refugee status were pending.
Sudan: Nearly 4.5 million Sudanese were uprooted at the end of 2002, including an estimated 4 million internally displaced persons and some 475,000 who lived as refugees and asylum seekers in other countries, including about 170,000in Uganda, 90,000 in Ethiopia, 70,000 in DRCongo, 70,000 in Kenya, 35,000 in Central African Republic, 20,000 in Egypt, 15,000 in Chad, and 1,000 in Eritrea. In contrast, 5,000 Sudanese sought asylum in western countries.
Tanzania: Tanzania hosted approximately 520,000 refugees at the end of 2002, including more than 370,000 from Burundi, 140,000 from DRCongo, 3,000 from Somalia, and about 3,000 from Rwanda. Tanzania hosted an additional 300,000 to 470,000 Burundians who resided in western Tanzania in refugee-like circumstances without official refugee status.
Uganda: Some 600,000 to 700,000 Ugandans remained initially displaced at the end of 2002. More than 25,000 Ugandans were refugees or asylum seekers, including 20,000 in Congo-Kinshasa, about 5,000 in Sudan, and nearly 2,000 in western countries. On the other hand, Uganda hosted more than 220,000 refugees and asylum seekers at the end of 2002, including about 170,000 from Sudan, 20,000 from Rwanda, nearly 10,000 from DRCongo, 1,000 from Somalia, and 20,000 or more of various nationalities who resided in Kampala, the capital city.
Zambia: Zambia hosted nearly 250,000 refugees and asylum seekers at the end of 2002, including some 190,000 from Angola, 50,000 from DRCongo, 5,000 from Rwanda, 1,000 from Burundi and 1,000 from other countries. More than 25 years of civil war in Angola pushed approximately 200,000 refugees into Zambia where some Angolan refugees have lived since the 1970s, while others arrived as recently as 2002.
Zimbabwe: An estimated 100,000 to 200,000 people were internally displaced in Zimbabwe at the end of 2002, while about 8,000 Zimbabweans were asylum applicants in industrialised countries during the year. In contrast, Zimbabwe hosted 10, refugees in 2002, including nearly 5,000 from DRCongo, 3,000 from Rwanda, 1,000 from Burundi and about 1,000 from other African countries.
Edited by:Munala Wa Munala.
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