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The Kampala Convention

Apr 4, 2011, 12:53 PM

The ratification of the Kampala Convention on Internally Displaced Persons by the Members of the National Assembly is a landmark achievement.

Other countries that have also ratified the Convention include Sierra Leone, Uganda, Rwanda and Gabon.

Most of these countries have experienced serious conflict, while The Gambia was spared such; however we also experienced natural disasters like floods, and some of these disasters did force people to leave their homes and settle in other areas.

It is, therefore, good that our lawmakers ratified the convention, thus making the country the 5th to do so. 

The bill tabled before lawmakers by the Honorable minister of the Interior seeks to protect and promote the welfare of internally displaced persons.

We firmly believe that a Convention that seeks to promote and strengthen regional and national measures to prevent or mitigate, prohibit and eliminate root causes of internal displacement, as well as provide for durable solutions is a thing to be associated with.

The Gambia is now left with the protocol of depositing the convention with the AU Commission.

With the ratification, the country is obliged to provide prevention of internal displacement and protection of, and assistance, to internally displaced persons within its boundaries.

The country is also expected, among other things, to provide humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons within our territory without discrimination of any kind.

It is fair to mention that The Gambia, over the years, has been accommodating people from other countries where there is civil unrest.

However, with the ratification of the convention, we must do more in meeting the demands of the internally displaced.

We must use this opportunity to commend the Ministry of the Interior for their efforts in making sure that The Gambia ratified the Kampala Convention.

The members of the National Assembly must also be commended for unanimously ratifying the convention.

The people who leave their place of origin due to political unrest or natural calamities need support somewhere, and that is what this convention seeks to address.

As a country known for its hospitality, especially towards foreigners, as well as care for our own people who are affected by disasters, we must continue to ratify and domesticate all relevant conventions and treaties.

"I feel the capacity to care is the thing that gives life its deepest significance."

Pablo Casals