HEADLINES: Refugees

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South Sudanese officials have condemned Sudan after an aerial bombardment of a refugee camp in their territory. Local official Miabek Lang said at least 12 people had been killed and 20 wounded. The Sudanese military, which has been fighting rebels in areas near South Sudan, has denied the claims.  [BBC]

The Australian government is planning the first forcible deportation of an Afghan asylum-seeker, according to the Refugee Action Coalition. Ismail Mirzajan, a 27-year-old Hazara Afghan currently being held in Villawood had received a notice of removal for this Saturday. It would be the first time Australia has acted on a memorandum of understanding it signed with the Afghan government to return asylum-seekers. “We are hoping that the Afghan government will again rule out forced removals when they understand what the Australian government intends to do,” a Refugee Action Coalition spokesperson said. [The Australian]

Thousands of Syrian refugees who fled the unrest in Syria are now facing dire conditions at refugee centers in north Lebanon, with little access to medical care, schooling or even blankets in some cases. The most difficult living conditions are found perhaps at schools that have been transformed into refugee centers, housing between 150 and 200 refugees, in the towns of Wadi Khaled and Mashta Hammoud. Mahmoud Hisyan, a Syrian refugee at one of the schools, compares living in the centers to being in a prison. “We are not allowed to move around except in the center’s surrounding area and our living situation has deteriorated to a level that can no longer be tolerated,” Hisyan said, adding that the refugees use space heaters to cook meals of lentils and hummus. [The Daily Star Lebanon]

According to the U.N., cholera has broken out in the world’s largest refugee camp in Kenya, home to nearly 500,000 Somali refugees. Insecurity also continues to hamper aid efforts following the kidnapping of Western aid workers from the sprawling Dadaab complex of five camps, where 100 additional Kenyan police have been deployed in the past month. The UNHCR and other aid agencies have set up cholera treatment centres in the camp for severe cases and are promoting safe hygiene practices. [Reuters]

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