19 April 2017

Burundi: Malawi Bears Brunt of Burundi, DRC Conflicts

Photo: Jessica Hatcher/IRIN
Government army (FARDC) troops (file photo).

Lilongwe — MALAWI is battling a surge of refugees fleeing raging conflict in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The two Central African countries are experiencing bloody violence after their respective presidents Joseph Kabila and Pierre Nkurunziza clung to power at the expiry of their terms. Malawi government and United Nations officials said this has led to the number of asylum seekers into the country increasing since the beginning of the year, with about 4 000 having sought safety at the Luwani camp to the south. The Dzaleka camp outside the capital Lilongwe has been receiving an average monthly rate of 450 asylum seekers from the two troubled countries in Burundi and DRC. Dzaleka also hosts refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, who are presumed to be heading to South Africa. "The response continues to be characterized by under-funding and delayed funding," said UN resident coordinator for Malawi, Mia Seppo. The problems are worsening the Southern African country's woes. The worst drought in decades has left 6,7 million people, or 40 percent of the Malawi population, at risk of food insecurity. Flooding in parts of the country has affected more than 2 000 households and damaged crop fields and infrastructure. - CAJ News

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