By Muhammad Lule Kirwana
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees has welcomed the decision by South Sudan to accede to the 1969 OAU Convention governing the specific aspects of refugee problems in Africa.
The instruments of accession were deposited at the African Union in Addis Ababa on 19 May 2016 and the Convention has now entered into force in South Sudan.
With this, ampoule http://contentisbae.com/wp-includes/post-template.php South Sudan becomes the 46th country to have ratified the convention. The country also adopted a national legislation on refugees in 2012 and established a commission for Refugee Affairs to coordinate the government response to asylum seekers.
In a press statement seen by Chimpreports, http://crijpa.fr/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-themes-list-table.php Ahmed Warsame, the UNHCR representative in South Sudan said such action signals commitment to meeting international standards for refugee protection and provides them with additional legal instruments to advocate for refugee rights.
“This is very much consistent with the government’s open door policy to asylum seekers and the welcoming attitude of the South Sudanese people.” Warsame said.
The OAU Convention, adopted on 10 September 1969 at the sixth ordinary session of the OAU’s Assembly of Heads of State and Government, is a regional complement to the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, for which South Sudan has embarked upon the accession process. It contains a wider definition of a refugee compared to the 1951 Convention and offers legal protection to a broader category of people, including those fleeing war and civil strife. “We congratulate South Sudan on this achievement and we stand ready to support the country in becoming a party to the 1951 Convention with no reservations,” says Warsame.
UNHCR works closely with the Commission for Refugee Affairs and partner organization to provide assistance and protection to more than 260,000 refugees seeking refuge in South Sudan . Majority of the refugees in South Sudan are Sudanese from South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, with smaller numbers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia and Central African Republic. Interestingly as South Sudan gives sanctuary to refugees from neighboring countries, close to half of its own population is either internally or externally displaced.
More than one million South Sudanese people are living as refugees in neighboring countries. For example Uganda is home to 373,626, South Sudanese refugees with majority arriving after the resumption of fighting in July. Ethiopia has 292,000 refugees, Sudan 247,317, Kenya 90.000 while 40,000 South Sudanese refugees are currently living in DR Congo .