SOLYMONE BLOG

AN EXODUS THAT IS BEYOND BIBLICAL


Saima is one of 37 refugees now sharing the house of a stranger. Their host, Rizwan Ali, 59, says: 'It would be easier to die than to ask displaced people to leave for the camps'
The language was already biblical; now the scale of what is happening matches it.
The exodus of people forced from their homes in Pakistan'
s Swat Valley and elsewhere in the country's north-west may be as high as 2.4 million, aid officials say.
Around the world, only a handful of war-spoiled countries like Sudan, Iraq, Colombia have larger numbers of internal refugees. The speed of the displacement at its height up to 85,000 people a day was matched only during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. This is now one of the biggest sudden refugee crises the world has ever seen.

Until now, the worst of the problem has been kept largely out of sight. Of the total displaced by the military's operations against the Taliban, the army yesterday claimed a crucial breakthrough, taking control of the Swat Valley's main town, Mingora ,just 200,000 people have been forced to live in the makeshift tent camps dotted around the southern fringe of the conflict zone.
The vast majority were taken in by relatives, extended family members and local people wanting to help.

Courtesy: The Independent
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