- Sierra Leonean refugees in The Gambia have been called to make a decision on their status before 31 December this year when all assistance provided by the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) will be terminated.
An official of the UNHCR regional office in Senegal, Mariam Stephanie, told refugees that after the termination of assistance they will be left with only local integration benefit.
The onus lies on The Gambia government to agree on whether to issue a two-year permit allowing refugees to integrate and continue living as normal citizens.
She made it clear that all refugees must go through the process and that Gambian immigration officials deserve the right to accept or refuse any application.
Stephanie said refugees need to state valid reasons in their application. She said the UN refugee agency would not be able to do anything for refugees whose applications have been refused by Gambian authorities.
The eruption of a ten-year civil war in Sierra Leone in the mid-90s had resulted to influx of refugees in the sub-region. Thousands of refugees have voluntarily returned home at the end of war and restoration of democracy.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.