Resolution on Voluntary Repatriation of African Refugees

CM/Res. 399 (XXIV)


The Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity meeting in its Twenty- Fourth Ordinary Session in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 13th to 21st February, 1975,

Recalling Resolution CM/Res. 346 (XXIV) on the BPEAR;

Considering the UN Convention of 1957, the 1967 and the OAU Convention on Refugees and the need for those Member States, which have not yet ratified the OAU Convention, to do so;

Having studied the Report of the 9th Ordinary Session of the OAU Commission of Ten on Refugees;

Considering the progress achieved in the field declonization in Africa and the need for repatriating refugees;

Aware of the necessity of the participation of these refugees in the reconstruction of their countries;

Considering the need to create an atmosphere conducive to the return of these refugees to their countries of origin;

Bearing in mind the wide experience of the UNCHR and other international organizations in the field of voluntary repatriation:

  1. URGES those Member States which have not ratified the OAU Convention on Refugees to do so as soon as possible in order to facilitate services to African refugees particularly in respect of their voluntary repatriation;

  1. ADOPTS the report and recommendations of the OAU Commission of Ten on Refugees;

  1. CALLS upon Member States to:-

    1. Accept and abide scrupulously by the international agreements and the OAU Convention on Refugees, particularly as regards the voluntary nature of repatriation;

    1. Undertake a campaign to raise funds and collect materials to help the new States to create conditions, congenial for the return of the refugees;

    1. Make available, if possible, to the new nations the technical staff and equipment needed to cope with the exigencies of the situation, in collaboration with Member States having experienced in repatriation and with the OAU General Secretariat;

    1. Accept, and facilitate the establishment on their territories, of transit facilities and make available the services of their staff with experience in this field, whenever necessary;

    1. Launch a campaign to encourage the refugees to return to their countries, of their own free will;

    1. Facilitate the full transfer of the refugees’ savings and property especially working tools and personal effects;

    1. Allow couples of mixed marriage to decide freely on their repatriation;

    1. Prevent the formation on their territories of subversive groups, which would hinder the tasks of rehabilitation and reconstruction of the newly independent countries and which would be inimical to the efforts of reconciliation.

  1. MANDATES the Commission of Ten to make contacts with the leaders of the Liberation Movements and the Governments concerned on the question of repatriating their compatriots;

  1. REQUESTS the Administrative Secretary-General of the OAU to study the possibility of assisting financially in the repatriation of the refugees as well as in their settlement;

  1. INVITES to this and the Liberation Movements and Governments concerned to define their priorities and needs to repatriation and to communicate such information to the OAU Administrative Secretary-General as soon as possible;

  1. AUTHORIZES the Administrative Secretary-General to set up an appropriate machinery to co-ordinate repatriation operations with the UNCHR and other interested international Organizations, and Governments having experience in this field in order to avoid any duplication of efforts;

  1. INVITES the UNCHR and other international organizations and voluntary agencies to put at the disposal of the Liberation Movements concerned in consultation with OAU their expertise and financial means in order to effectively assist in the repatriation of these refugees and their resettlement;

  1. APPEALS to the Governments concerned to solemnly declare a long lasting general amnesty in order to facilitate the tasks or reconciliation and the return of their refugees;

  1. EXPRESSES its appreciation of all Member States which have given aid and asylum to African refugees, to UNCHR and all other International Organizations which have contributed to relieve the sufferings of African Refugees.

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