UN and Africa: focus on reconciliation in South Sudan, migrants in Angola and refugee camps in Kenya

Traditional Leaders urged to promote peace and reconciliation in South Sudan

Traditional leaders in South Sudan are being called upon by the UN to promote peace and reconciliation as people return to their homes following conflict. The African country is beginning to emerge from two years of brutal conflict after the formation of a unity government. Thousands of South Sudanese who fled their homes are now returning. The UN mission in the country, UNMISS, organized a workshop in Bentiu town in the north of the country, to encourage traditional leaders to play a key role in ensuring a peaceful return. Jacob Ruai has been speaking to UNMISS civil affairs officer Salifu Kamara.

Francois Crepeau, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Angola encouraged to develop comprehensive strategy for migrants

Angola is being asked to develop “an all-inclusive strategy” for migrants in the country, many of whom are from neighbouring states. The appeal has been made by a UN expert on the human rights of migrants who has completed an eight-day visit to the country. Francois Crepeau said undocumented migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in Angola are continuously harassed and intimidated by the police. They are also arrested regularly and detained in large numbers. He tells Amina Hassan how the authorities can create “a more secure environment” for these people.

Displaced Somali women residing at the Ifo 2 Refugee Camp in Dadaab, Kenya, which is supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Alarm at Kenya proposal to close refugee camps

The announcement by the Kenyan government that it’s to close refugee camps is profoundly concerning and needs to be reconsidered, the UN said Monday. The government says the security-challenges of hosting so many refugees, mainly from Somalia, have become intolerable, according to news reports. As many as 600,000 people could be affected by the decision to end hosting for asylum-seekers, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). It’s now in talks with Kenyan authorities in an effort to ensure the ongoing safety of those in Dadaab and Kakuma camps, as UNHCR’s Nora Sturm told Daniel Johnson.

Source: United Nations Radio.