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Experts ask AU countries to address refugee crisis

FILE PHOTO: Refugees

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Experts at the Kampala African Union Judicial Convention have asked members states to address worsening refugees’ crisis in the continent.

They said there is urgent need for a joint continental policy for addressing economic, security and political issues causing clandestine migration crisis in the continent.

Allehone Abebe, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Representative to the African Union says the absence of inclusive economic policy is to blame for the migration to Europe.

Dr. Chaloka Beyani, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons said Africa needs an inclusive Continental Free Trade Area for integration of returnees fleeing economic crisis.

According to Dr Chaloka, 55 Million people are economic migrants leaving Africa for other continents while the internal displacement gets out of hand. He said at least 1.7 Million migrants have returned back while 6.5 Million are living as refugees and asylum seekers in foreign countries. In February, the African Union declared 2019 the year of refugees at its extra ordinary sitting in Kigali Rwanda to drum up support for refugees living on the continent. Uganda alone is home to more than 1.5 Million refugees from neighbouring South Sudan, DR Congo, Burundi and Rwanda among others.

Dr Chaloka said without addressing the security challenges triggering refugees, internal displacement and migration, Africa will keep losing its valuable workforce to the unfolding crisis as environment gets harsh under climate change.

Earlier, President Yoweri Museveni told the convention that 17,000 United Nations peacekeeping troops have failed to stabilize the Democratic Republic of Congo and prevent influx of refugees to Uganda.

The President also proposed the need for economic and political integration of the Continent into one big Continental Free Trade Area. He said the integration will boost growth and development necessary for solving underlying human rights challenges leading to refugees’ crisis in Africa.

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