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UNHCR and partner agencies are launching a formal appeal for funds to help refugees fleeing into western Ethiopia from Sudan’s Blue Nile State. The joint appeal by UNHCR, UNICEF, the World Food Programme and the International Organization for Migration amounts to some US$18.3 million and is intended to help up to 35,000 refugees. Since 3 September, when the influx started, an estimated 25,000 refugees have found refuge in Ethiopia. [UNHCR]

South Sudanese refugees who fled north from the past civil war are now trying to return home to the new state of South Sudan, but many are finding the going hard.  Those wishing to travel back south have been given until Spring to move or to establish residency in the north and obtain work permits.In the meantime, many simply have to wait, at ports, railway stations and major roads. [Reuters]

Afghan officials say an ambitious program is being planned to attempt to bring back millions of Afghan refugees living in Iran and Pakistan. The program, which will be discussed at an international conference on Afghanistan to be held in Tokyo next year, envisions the repatriation of more than 3 million Afghan refugees living mainly in the border regions of neighboring Iran and Pakistan. [RFE/RL]

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