Somalia refugees pass one million: UN
Published Tuesday, July 17, 2012
More than one million Somalians have fled the country making it "one of the world's longest and worst refugee crises", the UN refugee agency said on Tuesday.
The data, gathered over the course of the 20-year civil war in Somalia, puts the country's refugee problems on a par with just two other conflict zones: Afghanistan and Iraq, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said in Geneva.
"Somalia is one of the world's longest and worst refugee crises," said Adrian Edwards, UNHCR spokesman.
"In the past decade only two other conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have forced more than a million people to flee their homes."
In the first six months of 2012 some 30,000 refugees were registered by the UN agency compared to 137,000 in the same period in 2011, the agency said.
In total last year some 294,000 refugees were registered in camps in surrounding countries including Kenya and Ethiopia.
The lower number of refugees leaving Somalia in 2012 was attributed to less severe drought than normal, Edwards said, adding that "the situation in most of the southern and central part of Somalia remains fluid and unstable" and "the prospects for the harvest next month are poor."