Africa tops on number of forced displacement victims – AUC

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—-The African Union Commission (AUC) has observed that Africa continues to top the list for the number of victims of forced displacement with more than ten million Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) and more than five million refugees.

The AUC adds that the intensification of some conflicts, especially in some countries like Somalia, Mali DRC and Central African Republic, have contributed to the increased insecurity that always results in the loss of thousands of lives, massive destruction of infrastructure and the disruption of social services as well as the flight of thousands of people within or outside their countries.

Speaking when he officially launched the African Union workshop on the implementation of the Kampala Convention for the assistance and protection of IPDs in Africa in Lusaka today, Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice President, Davies Mwango, said the Zambian government welcomes the support the AU is giving to member states in the implementation of the Kampala Convention.

Mr Mwango said he is confident that the support from the Zambian government will ensure that the Kampala Convention meets the needs of the IPDs in the country and Africa in general.

Mr Mwango stated that the workshop should, therefore, be forward looking and focusing on how to domesticate and implement the Convention at national level following its entry into force from a legal, institutional and developmental perspective.

He noted that it is equally important to draw lessons from the past in addressing internal displacement and to identify the main challenges and obstacles in developing a national instrument on internal displacement and its operational implementation.

Commissioner for Political Affairs at the African Union Commission, Aisha Abdullahi, noted that African values, such as justice, are based on the respect for and the protection of human rights.

Dr Abdullahi added that protection should be accompanied by a concern for social justice as well as attention to the most vulnerable members of society.

The Commissioner said the Kampala Convention is, therefore, a milestone in the development of Africa and international legal instruments on forced displacement and offers a real opportunity to develop innovative and comprehensive solutions to the issue of internal displacement on the continent.

She added that the workshops are also part of efforts to popularise and implement the Kampala Convention which have already generated great enthusiasm among decision makers, experts and humanitarian.