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AFRICA’S displacement crisis is getting worse, according to the International Displacement Monitoring Centre, which just issued a major report about the continent.
In the first six months of this year, some 2.7 million people in Africa were newly displaced – that’s the equivalent of 15,000 people every day. More than 1.7 million of these were displaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Across the continent, conflict and violence triggered 75% of those displacements. At the end of 2016, 12.6 million Africans were living in displacement, according to the report. Behind the numbers are millions of girls, boys, women and men, many of whom have lost their homes, livelihoods and communities, and face years if not decades of upheaval.
The African Union made history in 2009 with the Kampala Convention, the world’s first regional, legally binding text relating to internal displacement (until then, international instruments about protecting people forced to flee their homes applied only to refugees – those who had crossed national borders).
If there is to be any chance of bringing these numbers down, African states need to take urgent action in implementing the convention so as to make good on the political will they demonstrated in 2009.