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East Africa hosts 4.9 million refugees, asylum seekers

85,400 refugees have entered Ethiopia from conflict-torn Sudan.

The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) said Friday that regional countries, which include Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda, are currently hosting 4.9 million refugees and asylum-seekers.

Since the beginning of 2024, about 153,000 refugees have returned to their countries of origin, the IGAD said in a statement issued in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

The majority of refugees and asylum-seekers are from South Sudan, totaling over 2.2 million, it said. Additionally, the region hosts over 87,000 stateless individuals in Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan. Conflict and natural disasters have internally displaced around 18.4 million people in the region.

Countries such as Sudan, Somalia and South Sudan have experienced conflicts, leading to widespread displacement. The conflict in Sudan, which began in mid-April 2023 due to an escalating power struggle within Sudan’s military forces, has displaced over 8.5 million people, creating one of the world’s largest displacement crises.

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