Ethiopia: Lasting Response Required for the Growing Crisis of IDPs

Addis Ababa — Renewed will of all leaders is required to find a lasting response to the issues of forced internally displaced persons (IDPs), said AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat.

In his opening remark of the 34th Executive Council Session, Moussa Faki said "while continuing to seek the support of the international community, we should contribute more significantly to the mobilization of humanitarian assistance."

The session is embarked on under the theme "Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa."

"We should act effectively in order to quell the various crisis and conflicts that break out here and there and persistence of the displacement of persons," he stressed.

The Chairperson added that commitment to silence the guns by 2020 is impossible as it entails the African leaders' genuine political will.

"The recent developments in the Horn of Africa are an eloquent illustration," he said, adding that "I would like once again to welcome and hail the vision of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia and other leaders of the region."

Executive Secretary of UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Vera Songwe said "today in our Union we have 14.7 million internally displaced people and 7.3 million refugees."

"How do we, as a Union, do we create the Africa we want if without shame or humiliation, we let our youth, our young women lament in camps?" Songwe asked over.

Stating that Africa grew at 3.2 percent in 2018 and prediction for 2019 is below 4 percent, the Executive Secretary noted "for a continent desperate for growth, we cannot afford to marginalize a considerable share of our population."

According to her, the largest proportion of African refugees and internally displaced people are in Eastern Africa, at 59 and 49 percent respectively.

Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Chairperson of the Executive Council, Richard Sezibera said "today, more so than yesterday, the demands on our organization are increasing. The desires for peace, security, stability and democracy have never been higher."

"Democracy is possible only when peace is secured," he said and emphasized "our work in this area is never done."

Furthermore, Chairperson of the Executive Council pointed out that the theme will enable participants to have adequate time to examine the growing crisis of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) and identify ways to bring sustainable solutions.

Scale of assessment and contributions, the pressing issue of peace fund scale and nomination of panel of eminent persons for the new commissioner are among the Executive Council's deliberations.

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