This is the first part of a piece written in February of 2019 by Teia Currimbhoy, on some of the refugee crises that were happening (and still are happening) in Africa. This first part focuses on recent events and action taken to improve the plight of refugees from Africa. While this is slightly outdated, the information and context are still relevant today. We hope you enjoy and learn from this!
Recent Action Taken
The African Union is made up of 55 countries in Africa, and works for ‘conflict prevention, peacekeeping, peacemaking and peace-building.’ Their annual summit was held in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, in February 2019 and this year the union is looking at refugee crises across the continent. The article linked provides some statistics on refugees in Africa, and there has already been a worldwide call for action to be taken.
The article quotes the chairperson of the pan-African body, Faki Mahamat, who says that the AU is looking “to find sustainable responses to the prevalent issue of forced displacement”, but this is definitely easier said than done. The issues surrounding refugee crises in Africa are complicated. Terrorist groups like Boko Haram, totalitarian governments, dictators and a whole lot of corruption are common in the politics of African nations. To put a stop to this is no easy task because we need new leaders. But the old leaders make it almost impossible for new leaders to take over.
Libya, for example, used to have a powerful dictator, who collapsed in 2011. Since then, the country has been divided by factions and the Islamic State extremist militia had control of some coastal cities until mid-2017. The UN does back a ‘unity’ government on a naval base in Tripoli, but it faces opposition from two other rival governments and a whole group of militias. It is this kind of political situation that makes it so difficult to truly instigate reforms.
However, there is hope that ‘unity’ governments may emerge triumphant, but it is never certain that will be the case for all of Africa. All in all, we can only wish for the humanitarian treatment of people and take action as best as we can to end these refugee crises and bring peace, hope and happiness to all members for the human race.