UN refugee expert urges Africa to focus on root causes of displacement

NAIROBI ­­­­––Joel Boutroue, a UN refugee expert has called on African leaders to focus on the root causes of internal displacement as they discuss durable solutions to the refugee crisis on the continent.

Joel Boutroue, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representative in Uganda, told reporters on Wednesday that the African Union (AU) makes 2019 as the ‘Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons’, which shows that the continent is serious about the issue of forced displacement.

“What I would like to see is that the AU makes a commitment to address the root causes of displacement. It is important to remember that the root causes of displacement are in Africa,” Boutroue told reporters.

As African leaders assembled in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa this weekend, the UN chief said although Africa should take the lead in addressing the root causes of forced displacement, the international community must also support the continent.

“Let Africa address the root causes of displacement but there should be solidarity not only financial but also political to ensure that the causes of displacement are eradicated,” Boutroue said.

He said African countries need to understudy Uganda’s refugee response model that has gained international recognition.

“Uganda is showing that we can have durable solutions for refugees and displaced persons. By applying the model, you ensure sustainability, long term commitment to the refugees as well as the host communities,” Boutroue said. @QZ���

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