43: Resolution on the Observance of the 30th Anniversary of the OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugees in Africa

The African Commission on Human & Peoples’ Rights, meeting at its 26th Ordinary Session held in Kigali, Rwanda, 1-15 November 1999:

Noting that the OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee problems in Africa was adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State at Addis Ababa on 10 September 1969;

Recalling the principle laid down in the Grand Bay (Mauritius) Declaration and Plan of Action that the high number of refugees, displaced persons and returnees in Africa constitutes an impediment to development as well as the link between human rights violations and population displacement;

Considering that African states bear the brunt of receiving and caring for refugee populations, and

Concerned about the plight of more than 6 million refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced persons across the Continent;

Aware that current mechanisms for the protection of refugees and asylum-seekers appear to be inadequate and ineffective:

1. Congratulates those states, which have spared no effort to honour their obligations under the Convention and continue to uphold solidarity with Africa’s refugees and asylum-seekers;

2. Welcomes the efforts by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to integrate issues of refugee protection to human rights across Africa and to establish cooperation between the Commission and the field offices of UNHCR in Africa;

3. Decides to participate in the commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the OAU Convention Concerning Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa by supporting the proposed OAU/UNHCR Conference to be held in Guinea early 2000;

4. Decides to establish a closer cooperation with the OAU Refugees Bureau in the spirit that violations of human rights are the prime causes of refugee outflows throughout the world.

5. Appeals to state parties to the Charter to:

i) take steps to ensure effective implementation of the provisions of the Convention;
ii) establish a legal and administrative environment in their countries to ensure the best possible protection of the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers; and
iii) by their observance of the Charter, to address the root causes of refugee outflows and population displacement.

6. Decides to miantain the agenda item on Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Displaced Persons in its ordinary sessions.


Done in Kigali, 15 November 1999.