News and Views on Africa from Africa
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November 2003


While this issue focuses on the plight of refugees in the African continent, a number of pertinent issues have also been highlighted.

Our new correspondent from Uganda James Owaka reports that for the past seventeen years, the people from the northern part of that country have never known peace, thanks to a civil war being waged by rebel leader Joseph Kony. Consequently, they have been forced to become refugees in their own motherland, living in deplorable conditions in concentration camps.

After decades of a bloody civil war, Angola is now headed for a transition into peace. However, a report by the New York-based Human Rights Watch notes that one of the critical challenges facing the country in its transition to peace will be the successful return and integration of millions of internally displaced persons, refugees in neighbouring countries, and former combatants displaced during the conflict. The Struggling through peace report has been analysed by NEWSfromAFRICA Associate Editor, Zachary Ochieng.

Charles Banda, our Malawi correspondent observes that the country, which has hosted war refugees for decades, with a peak in the late 1980s and early 1990 and notes that as war continues in some countries in Africa's Great Lakes Region, the number of people seeking refuge in Malawi has risen more than tenfold in just under five years.

From Rwanda, our new correspondent Emmanuel Rutaisire looks at the plight of children orphaned by the 1994 genocide and what the government and civil society are doing to improve their lot.

As famine continues to ravage Zimbabwe, Human rights groups in the Southern African countries claim that up to a quarter of the country's 13.5 million people have already fled the country mostly to Botswana, South Africa and Mozambique. As Rodrique Mukumbira reports, the fleeing Zimbabweans hope to lead a better life in the host countries but end up being treated with hostility.

Inhabitants of the northern region of Kenya, always prone to famine owing to recurrent drought, are once again on the brink of starvation according to an Early Warning Signal issued by the country s Meteorological Department. As Zachary Ochieng reports, the situation is likely to spark off food crisis of unprecedented proportions, unless the government and aid agencies move quickly to forestall it.

Our Zambia correspondent Singy Hanyona examines the harsh conditions in which refugees and asylum seekers in that country live, while noting that there is some light at the end of the tunnel, thanks to the Lusaka Urban Refugee project. Such a scenario has become an almost everyday occurrence in Botswana.

Gender violence, no doubt is on the increase in a number of African countries. As Botswana grapples with unprecedented incidents of passion killings, the women s rights organisations have come up with what they believe will go a long way in reducing such violent incidents. Our correspondent Mqondisi Dube has the details.

Ghanaians have every reason to be thankful to the Pope for making one of their citizens a cardinal, the first in the country s history. All over the country, there is massive joy and jubilation within the Catholic community and beyond, over the recent appointment of Cardinal Turkson, as Sam Sarpong reports.

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