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Repatriation of Afghan refugees to resume by April: UNHCR

PESHAWAR: Following suspension of the return of Afghan refugees from Pakistan to their country for four months, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has announced the repatriation process to resume from April 3 this year, ARY News reported.  Each returnee will be granted $200 under individual assistance package by the United Nation’s refugee agency. Eleven thousand refugees have been registered so far in Khyber Pakthunkhwa who are opting to return to Afghanistan. Two repatriation centres have been…

UNHCR staffer receives death threats

ISLAMABAD: A female staffer of United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) stationed in Islamabad has received a letter of death threat, ARY News reported. According to details, an unknown person handed the letter to a security guard of the UNHCR office in the federal capital of Pakistan. The person who have wrote the letter have used threatening language against the UNHCR employee Mary Lucy and have threatened to kill her, sources said. An official of UNHCR Pakistan office Johann Siffointe has filed the…

More than 380,000 Afghans return from Pakistan in 2016: UNHCR

ISLAMABAD: More than 380,000 registered Afghan refugees have returned from Pakistan this year, the highest number since 2007, the United Nations said on Friday, adding it handed out $135 million in cash assistance in the last three months alone. Fears of a crackdown on refugees in Pakistan along with a doubling of the UN's cash grant for voluntary returnees to $400 saw a surge over the border after July this year, the UN has said. "These are unprecedented numbers we did not anticipate. In October alone some 148,000…

Myanmar pursuing ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Rohingya: UN official

TEKNAF: Myanmar is carrying out "ethnic cleansing" of Rohingya Muslims, a UN official has reportedly said, as horrifying stories of gang rape, torture and murder emerge from among the thousands who have fled to Bangladesh. Up to 30,000 of the impoverished ethnic group have abandoned their homes in Myanmar to escape the unfolding violence, the UN says, after troops poured into the narrow strip where they live earlier this month. John McKissick, head of the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) in the Bangladeshi border…

At least 110 feared dead in migrant shipwreck off Libya: UNHCR

ROME: At least 110 people are feared drowned off Libya after a migrant shipwreck and more may have died in another stricken vessel, the UN's refugee agency said on Thursday citing survivor testimony. "A vessel with around 140 people on board overturned Wednesday just a few hours after setting off from Libya, throwing everyone into the water. Only 29 people survived," said UNHCR spokesperson Carlotta Sami. The Norwegian Siem Pilot was first on the scene, some 20 nautical miles off Libya, and rescued the survivors -- all…