CSOs make case for IDPs

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IDPs in North East
IDPs in North East

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the Northeast have enjoined the state governments in the sub region as well as the Federal Government to take immediate measures to curb the suffering and indignities of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the region.

They made the appeal in Yola where their representatives from Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states attended a symposium facilitated by the Norwegian Refugees Council.

The CSOs stated the Federal Government would go far in addressing the needs of IDPs by domesticating the Kampala Convention which makes provisions for the welfare of IDPs.

“Welfare of IDPs in camps across the country is low, with government leaving much of the responsibility to nongovernmental organisations and public-spirited individuals,” they

An IDP in one of the camps, said: “It is good for NGOs to donate rice, carton of noodles, blanket, mosquito net, bags of cloth but there are other things that can transform lives of IDPs permanently. It is so sad that the government has ignored us.”

The representatives of the CSOs, who attended the Norwegian Refugee Council protection symposium in Yola, said in a communiqué:  “Domestication of the Kampala Convention is critical and urgent in order to encourage authorities to be responsible in situations where the rights of IDPs are deprived.”

The Kampala Convention, otherwise named African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa was adopted by a special summit of the African Union in Kampala, Uganda, on October 22, 2009.

It came into force on December 6, 2012 but it has not been domesticated in Nigeria.

The CSOs consider the development a big loss to IDPs as some of the rules in the convention, such as those on safe and voluntary return, and access to compensation, would radically change the fortunes of IDPs.

In their communiqué read to journalists by a leader of the representatives of the CSOs, Abdulaziz Mala, they also appealed to government to respect all relevant sections of the Nigerian constitution and other laws, including the Child Rights Act, to fulfill the rights of IDPs.

The Nation


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