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Old 12-26-2013, 04:11 AM   #1
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Default Pope: Peace applies to Syria, S. Sudan

CNN - Found 5 hours ago
(CNN) -- Pope Francis doesn't want a commonly quoted Bible verse chanted as empty words on Christmas Day -- the one about peace on Earth. "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors," heavenly hosts proclaimed when Christ was born, according to the Vatican ...
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Pope: Peace applies to Syria, S. Sudan
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Old 06-24-2017, 09:37 AM   #2
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Rape, Domestic Abuse Among Traumas Refugees Carry to Refugee Camps...

Rape, Domestic Abuse Among Traumas South Sudan Refugees Carry to Camps
June 20, 2017 — The nearly 1 million South Sudanese refugees in Uganda face shortages of food, water and medical care, but they have also brought with them the trauma of the war they fled. Aid agencies are struggling to meet the need for counseling for survivors of gender-based violence.
She was attacked in South Sudan six months ago, but she is still afraid to answer the door. VOA met this 35-year-old woman at the Pagirinya refugee settlement in Uganda. She spoke through a translator. She said she doesn't know if it was government soldiers or rebels. She says there were four of them who walked into her house and one of them started raping her. The other three stood guard. After that, she says, they asked her for money. They started looking around and took 500 South Sudanese pounds and left. She said when her husband came home, she told him what had happened. He told her to leave or he would kill her. She arrived in Uganda in February.

Insufficient trauma counseling

U.N. human rights officials said earlier this year that rape had reached “epic proportions” in the conflict in South Sudan. The impact is felt in the refugee settlements, though U.N. officials say funding for trauma counseling is insufficient. “We have about 20,000 women that have visited our center," said Alain Sibenaler, the Uganda Country Representative for the UNFPA. "Those are women that report abuse, that talk about, and that’s of course very difficult to estimate how many more there are who have been silent, but it’s important to know that, before they cross the border, there is already a large amount of violence that they have been subjected to. Now, that violence sometimes continues on their way to the settlement or is even perpetrated within the settlement.” VOA spoke to a community facilitator working with abused women in the settlements. He said he sees food shortages intensifying domestic violence.

Domestic violence

One 30-year-old refugee from East Equatoria told VOA about the abuse she faces. She has seven children, two of them from her previous marriage. She said her husband beats her when he sees her feeding them from the family’s rations. She says “he used a bamboo stick to beat me. He hit my hand and broke my wrist. He also hit my back, I am always in pain." She says the day I returned from the hospital, he raped me and while at it he said 'I want to see who will come and rescue you. You are my wife.'" She says she threatened once to report him to Ugandan police, but he told her he would cross back into South Sudan to evade capture.

A young South Sudanese refugee girl shields her face from the scorching sun as she waits in line at Maaji Health Center, Adjumani district, northern Uganda

Uganda’s government says it is aware of the problem of violence against women in the settlements. “When they struggle for resources in the areas that we give them, say, like water points, they become susceptible to all sorts of abuses," said Minister for Refugees Musa Ecweru. "I have had to go sometime as a minister responsible to speak very strongly to refugees, that some of you may have run from countries where law enforcement was weak, you have now run to a country where we take rights of others very strongly.” However, the minister said there have not been any recent arrests or prosecutions related to gender-based violence in the settlements. He said the government has placed priority on counseling survivors of abuse.
See also:

Global Forcible Displacement at Unprecedented High
June 19, 2017 — A new report has found that more people than ever before have become refugees or are internally displaced worldwide because of war, violence, and persecution.
The U.N. refugee agency’s “Global Trends Report,” released on the eve of World Refugee Day, June 20, shows an unprecedented 65.6 million people were determined forcibly displaced at the end of 2016, an increase of 300,000 over the previous year. Nearly two-thirds of this total are people who have been forcibly displaced within their own country. Refugee numbers worldwide have reached 22.5 million, which the report notes “is the highest ever seen.” The UNHCR reports that one in every 113 people worldwide is either a refugee or is forcibly displaced within his or her own country. Of the 65.6 million people that were found displaced last year, the report notes that 10.3 million were newly displaced, which equates to one person becoming uprooted every three seconds.

People displaced by conflict wait to be registered by the International Organization for Migration and the World Food Program, in Wau, South Sudan

While people continued to flee in record numbers, the report found that last year around one half million refugees returned home and about 6.5 million internally displaced people went back to their places of origin although “many did so in less than ideal circumstances and facing uncertain prospects.” Filippo Grandi, High Commissioner for Refugees said, “It is an extremely moveable situation, an extremely dynamic situation, which reflects in turn conflicts that continue to affect mostly and primarily and very violently civilians.”

Syria tops list

Data show that the Syrian conflict has generated the largest numbers of displaced people worldwide, with 12 million people, or nearly two-thirds of the population, either internally displaced or living as refugees, mainly in five neighboring countries — Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt. “Turkey continues to be for the third consecutive year, the largest hosting country,” said Grandi. “But, Lebanon, another one of the neighboring countries, is the country that has the highest per capita ratio compared to the local population in terms of the number of refugees.”

Syrian women prepare food for their families outside their tents, at a refugee camp in the town of Bar Elias, in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley

The report notes Afghanistan and Iraq have the second and third largest numbers of forcibly displaced people and that South Sudan has the world’s fastest growing refugee and displacement crisis. “The report, which records statistics at the end of 2016 indicates [that] 1.4 million refugees from South Sudan [are] in neighboring countries and almost two million internally displaced people,” said Grandi. “Those figures are probably higher. We certainly have counted at least half a million more in the first semester of this year in terms of refugees.” He added that most of the South Sudanese have sought refuge in neighboring Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic.

The report notes that most refugees — 84 percent — are in developing countries, half of them children. While the world’s poorest nations shoulder the greatest burden of the global refugee crisis, the report found that most of the 2.8 million asylum claims made in 2016 were lodged in rich countries. The UNHCR said the largest recipient of new asylum applications was Germany with more than 722,400 registered last year. The United States came in second with 262,000 newly filed applications. The report called the large number of unaccompanied children asking for asylum a growing and unsettling development. “Tragically, 75,000 asylum claims were received from children travelling alone or separated from their parent.” The UNHCR report added that even this number probably “underestimated the true figure.”

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