ICRC welcomes ratification of Kampala Convention by Somalia

12 March 2020

"Somalia has 2.6 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and more than one million lives in the capital city of Mogadishu," said the Commissioner of the National Commission for Internally displaced persons, refugees, returnees for Somalia, Dr Amina Said-Ali.

The statement was made during the ceremony for Somalia's deposition of the ratification instrument of the Kampala Convention, alias the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa, held on 6 March 2020 at the AU Headquarters.

The ceremony was opened by Ambassador Lamine Baali, member of the Bureau of AU Permanent Representative Committee (PRC) Sub-Committee on Refugees, Returnees and IDPs who appreciated Somalia's ratification and urged other Member States who have not yet signed and ratified, to follow the good example of Somalia.

On the occasion, the International Committee of the Red Cross called on member states for the ratification and implementation of the convention at the domestic level to ensure the protection and assistance for internally displaced persons in Africa.

The deputy head of the ICRC delegation to the African Union, Valery Mbaoh Nana's statement drew the attention to the ICRC's updated report on the stocktaking exercise on the implementation of the Convention "The Kampala Convention: Key recommendations ten years on" published in December 2019. He made a brief presentation of the publication and reaffirmed ICRC readiness to continue supporting states willing to ratify and/or implement the Kampala Convention, with the ultimate purpose of strengthening the response to the needs of IDPs on the ground by making the Convention as effective as possible.

In the publication, the ICRC made the following key recommendations to state authorities and delegates: the importance of dissemination of the Kampala Convention at all levels, increased participation of IDPs in all states and, the need to clearly designate a coordinating authority with sufficient funds and power to take up the tasks.

The session was also attended by the representative of the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights on internally displaced persons who expressed the UN's readiness to support Somalia in the domestication and implementation processes of the convention.

So far, the Kampala Convention has been ratified by thirty African states.