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Nigeria 'atrocities' forcing thousands to flee

Thousands of refugees are fleeing harrowing scenes of atrocities and body-strewn streets in northern Nigeria, the UN said Tuesday. The UN's refugee agency said violence in the area had prompted some 2,000 people to flee into neighbouring Niger over the past four weeks alone. UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said refugees arriving in Niger's Differ region, as well as Cameroon and Chad, were speaking of "atrocities", with one woman describing "corpses strewn through houses and floating in the water."

Syria refugees in Jordan fear they may never return

Syrian refugees polled in Jordan fear they might not be able to return home despite desperately wanting go back to Syria, according to an Oxfam survey released on Wednesday. As protests against President Bashar al-Assad that erupted in March 2011 have descended into a bloody civil war, 2.5 million Syrians have fled abroad and another 6.5 million have been internally displaced. More than 65 percent of 1,015 refugees surveyed by Oxfam in three different regions in Jordan fear they will be unable to go back to their homeland, the aid organisation said.

Over 5 million children affected by Syrian conflict, U.N. says

Geneva, Mar 11 (EFE).- Some 5.5 million children, twice as many as in March 2013, have been affected by the war in Syria, the U.N. children's agency Unicef said Tuesday. The violence has forced approximately 2.8 million youngsters to leave school, a situation that, if it becomes permanent, will have a grave impact on the country's future and its possibilities of reconstruction, Unicef's deputy representative in Syria, Hamida Lasseko, said.

UN says 'timely' that Jordan opening new Syria camp in April

The opening of a third refugee camp in Jordan next month is "timely" as the number of Syrians crossing the border has swelled to around 600 a day, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday. The UNHCR said in Geneva it "welcomes a decision this week by the Jordanian government to open the country's third refugee camp -- Azraq -- in a few weeks from now, on 30 April." The camp, located some 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of Amman, will help take some of the pressure off Jordan's main Zaatari camp, which is bursting at the seams, it said.

Syria conflict affects 5.5 million children

The number of children affected by Syria's war doubled in the past year to 5.5 million, the UN said Tuesday, a heartrending picture of an entire generation on the verge of being lost. And in a report entitled "Under Siege -- the devastating impact on children of three years of conflict in Syria," the UN children's agency UNICEF warned that the situation was likely to get worse.

5.5 million children impacted by Syria conflict

The UN said Tuesday the number of children impacted by Syria's war has doubled in the past year to 5.5 million, many of them trapped in besieged areas and beyond reach. In a report entitled "Under Siege -- the devastating impact on children of three years of conflict in Syria," the UN children's agency UNICEF warns that the situation was likely to get worse.

Influx of asylum-seekers strains German shelters

Germany has attracted more political asylum seekers than any other EU nation, but now the massive influx is straining the system, with crowded Berlin shelters sounding the alarm. Arrivals, mainly from eastern Europe, jumped by almost two-thirds in 2013 to the highest level in 14 years, even though most applicants have little chance of being accepted as political refugees. In one residential home on the outskirts of the sprawling German capital, a family of six from Bosnia-Hercegovina now share a spartan room of just 25 square metres (270 square feet).

Influx of asylum-seekers strains German shelters

Germany has attracted more political asylum seekers than any other EU nation, but now the massive influx is straining the system, with crowded Berlin shelters sounding the alarm. Arrivals, mainly from eastern Europe, jumped by almost two-thirds in 2013 to the highest level in 14 years, even though most applicants have little chance of being accepted as political refugees. In one residential home on the outskirts of the sprawling German capital, a family of six from Bosnia-Hercegovina now share a spartan room of just 25 square metres (270 square feet).

Don't forget Mali's refugees, aid groups urge

Mali's conflict and the ensuing flood of refugees must not be forgotten amid the multiplication of global crises, the UN's refugee agency and the World Food Programme insisted Tuesday. In a joint statement, the two aid bodies said that funds are "urgently needed to continue providing vital assistance to Malian refugees".

Syrians set to replace Afghans as largest refugee population: U.N.

By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Syrians are about to replace Afghans as the world's largest refugee population, fleeing a conflict where barrel bombs leave bodies in pieces and a generation of children are physically and emotionally scarred, top U.N. officials said on Tuesday.
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