Ethiopia now Africa's biggest refugee host

Geneva - The spiralling crisis in war-ravaged South Sudan has sent nearly 200 000 refugees into Ethiopia, making it Africa's largest refugee-hosting country, the UN said on Tuesday.

At the end of July, Ethiopia was sheltering 629 718 refugees - nearly half of them from South Sudan - while Kenya, which has long been the biggest refugee host on the continent, counted 575 334 registered refugees and asylum seekers, the UN's refugee agency said.

"The main factor in the increased numbers is the conflict in South Sudan," UNHCR spokeperson Adrian Edwards told reporters in Geneva.

That conflict, which erupted last December amid a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar, has left thousands dead and forced 1.59 million people to flee their homes, according to fresh UN numbers.

Including those who had fled the world's youngest nation before the latest conflict began, 1.29 million South Sudanese are currently displaced inside the country while 576 340 are refugees in neighbouring countries.

Some 247 000 of them have found their way to Ethiopia - 188 000 of them since the beginning of this year, Edwards said.

Ethiopia also counts 245 000 refugees from Somalia, including 3 000 who have arrived in the past seven months, and 99 000 from Eritrea - an increase of 15 000 since the beginning of the year, he said.

Joel Mabeke 2014-08-19 04:07:12 PM
Gotta be joking South africa holds the title.The numbers mentioned its times 10 here is South Africa. The whole of africa is here with only 2% documented and legall.
Marius Santana 2014-08-19 04:07:52 PM
And here I thought South Africa beats them all hands down when it came to registered and unregistered refugees and asylum seekers...
Azana Booi 2014-08-19 04:13:11 PM
Your Stats are Pathetic!!!!! We got MILLIONS here!!!! Get your own caltulations correct first.
Ben Jamine 2014-08-19 06:34:50 PM
We don't have refugee camps in SA and most people who are here are not legally here. Those who are legally in this country are not under refugee status. People from Zim are not refugees in SA, for an example. We are too far away from the unstable countries such as Sudan and Somalia for most of those who run away to have means of arriving to SA. So I believe the stats make sense.
Educated 2014-08-19 07:44:12 PM
What a load of mugabe. If we only took the Nigerian scum we have here it would be in the millions! Where do these clowns get their info??