Source: ‘Find lasting solutions to internal displacements’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 4, 2017
DELEGATES from 25 African Union (AU) member States are holding a three-day consultative meeting in Harare to discuss challenges faced by people internally-displaced by climatic factors and political instability.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
The meeting was organised under the auspices of the 2012 Kampala Convention, which is a regionally binding instrument for the protection of and assistance to internally-displaced persons (IDPs).
AU Humanitarian Affairs Division head, Olabisi Dare, challenged the continent to find lasting solutions to problems associated with internal displacements.
“The whole import of this meeting is to implement the treaty and ensure that it just doesn’t stay on the shelf. Beyond ratification, the treaty will be domesticated in all member States that have ratified it,” Dare said.
“The objective of this treaty is to respond to the increasing internal displacement of people on our continent. We need to realise the fact that about 80% of the internally-displaced people is a result of conflict on the continent. Mindful of the fact that Africa also contains the highest number of internally-displaced globally.
“Correctly we have 12,5 million people displaced on the continent and when you juxtapose it with the number of the refugee population, which is 3,6 million, we see that there is need for us to start the process of protecting and assisting those who find themselves in internally-displaced situations,” Dare said.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Priscah Mupfumira said the main objective of the meeting was to formally constitute the conference of State parties as a mechanism for fostering co-operation and solidarity among the member States.
“Therefore, this conference of States parties is another big step and milestone not only in the implementation of the Convention, but more so in the evolvement of the protection regime on IDPs, globally and Africa in particular,” she said.
Lamine Yahiaoui, chairperson of the permanent representative committee subcommittee on refugees, returnees and IDPs, said close to 41 million people around the world were living in ongoing displacement due to conflict and violence since last year.
He said out of that, 12,4 million of them were living in ongoing displacement in Africa.