Resolution on the Root Causes of the African Refugee Problem

CM/Res.1274 (LII)


The Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity, meeting in its Fi fty- second Ordinary Session in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 3 to 8 July 1990,

Having considered the Secretary-General’s report on the root -causes of the refugee problem in Africa and taking into consideration observations and remarks made by the various delegations during the debate,

Gravely alarmed by the steadily deteriorating refugee situation in Africa,

Noting that both apartheid policy in South Africa and the destabilization activities of the Pretoria regime in Southern Africa, as a whole, continue to be one of the main root- causes of population displacement in the southern part of Africa,

Noting further that human and peoples’ rights abuses, inter -state and intra-state conflicts coupled with other manifestations of intolerance in Africa, in general, are among the principal factors behind asylum-seeking,

Recalling that acts of interference in the internal affairs of other Member States can also result in cases of refugee influxes and displacement of persons,

Mindful of the fact that Africa’s situati on of 5 million refugees and 12 million displaced persons is the worst in the world today, especially in the case of women, children, the aged and the disabled,

Recognizing that the current gap between the assessed needs of refugees and the resources internationally available for refugee work in Africa is wide,

Convinced that voluntary repatriation constitutes a durable solution to the problem of refugees in Africa,

Convinced further that the elimination of the root-causes of the refugee problem would provide a comprehensive solution to this phenomenon:

  1. TAKES NOTE with appreciation of the Secretary-General’s report (Doc/CM/1605 (LII) Rev.1) on root-causes of the refugee problem in Africa, and ENDORSES the recommendations contained therein*;

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  1. REQUESTS the OAU Secretary-General in collaboration with the OAU Commission of Fifteen on Refugees, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and any other relevant institution, to promote at regional levels sensitization campaigns on the instances of refugees and displaced persons with a view to eliminating the root-causes of refugees;

  1. APPEALS to the international community to maintain pressure against South Africa until the apartheid system is totally and completely eradicated;

  1. CALLS UPON Member States to translate into action their collective and individual commitment to the defense and protection of Human and People’s Rights and to the peaceful settlement of internal and inter-state conflicts, and to continue respecting the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the Organization of African Unity and that of the United Nations;

  1. COMMENDS Member States that have so far ratified the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, the 1969 OAU Convention on Refugees, as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and APPEALS, once again, to those Member States that have not yet done so to consider ratifying these humanitarian international instruments, as soon as possible, and adhere to all their provisions;

  1. COMMENDS Member States which have established national commissions and bodies for coordinating all assistance to refugees and APPEALS to other Member States to establish such legal institutions with a view to further increasing the attention and assistance to refugees;

  1. CALLS UPON the international community to redouble its efforts in providing both material assistance and moral support to the OAU and its constituent Member States in promoting lasting solutions to the African refugee problem, especially tackling its root-causes and facilitating therefore voluntary repatriation.

*Somalia entered reservation

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