Statement by the African Union Special Representative to Somalia on the occasion of World Refugee Day
JUNE 20, 2016
On the occasion of World Refugee Day, the Special Representative of the African Union Commission Chairperson (SRCC) for Somalia, and head of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Ambassador Francisco Madeira, appeals to governments to take the necessary action to reverse the worsening refugee crisis on the African continent.
Ambassador Madeira said avoidable and unwarranted conflicts have uprooted millions from their homes, making them refugees in foreign countries. He cited Somalia as one of the countries in Africa that has borne the brunt of negative consequences of war, which destroyed livelihoods of millions of Somali citizens forcing them to seek refuge in neighbouring countries and beyond.
“May we take this opportunity to reflect on the plight of refugees, the millions of people who have been forced out of their homes and their countries by conflicts, ideological radicalism, clan rivalries and intolerance, problematic forms of governance, violent extremism and terrorism. We must, as a continent, strive to address the root causes of these conflicts and work towards prevention, while at the same time committing ourselves to providing the necessary support for a dignified existence of the refugees in our midst,” noted Ambassador Madeira.
The SRCC stated that Al-Shabaab’s instrumentalization of religion and unwarranted violence is the main reason for the increased number of Somali refugees. He appealed to Somali parents to protect their children from Al-Shabaab’s indoctrination, ideological radicalization and recruitment, as this is the most effective way to put an end to Al-Shabaab’s reign of terror. He reiterated AMISOM’s continued commitment to work together with the Somali government to defeat Al-Shabaab and to restore the peace and stability we are all yearning for in Somalia.
He also called for more support to the millions of Somali refugees, many of whom are seeking to return to their motherland.
Held under theme; We Stand Together with Refugees this year, World Refugee Day was declared in 2000 by the UN General Assembly, to draw attention to the plight of refugees across the globe.