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Iraq, Africa dangerous to minorities: UN report

Violence and repression directed against the world's minorities have struck hardest in Africa and Middle East.

india Updated: Jan 20, 2006 08:40 IST

Violence and repression directed against the world's minorities have struck hardest in Africa and war-affected areas of the Middle East, according to a report presented at the United Nations.

Minority Rights Group International, a British advocacy organisation, found that violence was targeted at religious, ethnic and other minority groups in three-quarters of the world's conflicts in 2005.

"In every world region, minorities and indigenous peoples have been excluded, repressed and, in many cases, killed by their governments," Mark Lattimer, the group's executive director, told a press conference on Thursday. "In war today, the targeting of minorities is no longer the exception, but has become the norm."

The group used data collected by the World Bank, conflict prevention institutes and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in preparing its first 'State of the World's Minorities' report.

Iraq topped the report's list of areas where minorities are under threat, scoring the highest total of a combination of factors which include "major armed conflicts" and "rise of factionalised elites."

Africa was the most concentrated area for minority peoples under threat listed in the report, with 9 of the top 15 most dangerous countries from the continent.

Sudan was named as the second most dangerous country for minorities, Somalia third, Afghanistan fourth and Myanmar fifth. Lattimer said the threat against minorities has also greatly increased in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Ivory Coast.

First Published: Jan 20, 2006 08:40 IST