Nineteen of the member states of the African Union (AU) signed a convention to protect and assist the internally displaced on 23 October at an AU summit in Kampala, Uganda.
“This is a milestone in the efforts to protect the internally displaced and refugees on the African continent. And it is particularly positive that it has been engineered by African countries through the AU,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
The adoption of the convention clearly shows that African countries are taking the situation of the internally displaced seriously. Internally displaced persons enjoy far less legal protection than refugees and are not entitled to the same assistance and protection. The convention sets out a range of rights for both internally displaced persons and refugees in AU member states.
The summit also provided a valuable opportunity for African countries to discuss why there are so many internally displaced persons and refugees in Africa.
Norway helped to finance the summit.