Every day many people, around the world, are compelled to flee their home or country for fear of persecution or to escape the effects of natural or man-made disasters.
These people known as refugees are confronted with numerous challenges notably lack educational facilities for their children, shelters, work and skills. Their plights have been part of the numerous concerns of the International Community for a long time resulting in the adoption of the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention.
Africa Refugee Day, designated by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) has been widespread and marked on June 20 for a long time. And the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to express its solidarity with Africa on December 4, 2000. The General Assembly therefore decided that June 20 would be celebrated as World Refugee Day from 2001 onwards. The Day was chosen to bring to the fore the predicaments of the millions of refugees in the world.
According to the United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), there are 65.3 million forcibly displaced people around the world; 86% of world’s refugees are hosted by developing countries and that the world’s largest refugee camp is located in Dadaab, Kenya, which is home to more than 329 000 people.
We, as people, should not for a moment fold our hands while our fellow human beings are suffering due to circumstances they are not responsible for. However as long as the root causes of their misfortunes are not addressed; the world will continue to host increasing number of refugees. The time is now for the world to rethink its overall system of governance characterized by unjust economic relation, dishonesty for personal gains among other.
As we are commemorating World Refugee Day, the people of South Sudan are enduring widespread violence due to power struggle in that country which got independence barely 5 years ago.
AASU calls on the African Union (AU) to be further involved in the resolution of crises in Africa particularly in South Sudan’s conflict.
Let us genuinely support refugees!
Let us adopt policies and programmes in the interest of the majority!
Peter Kwasi KODJIE
All-Africa Students Union (AASU)