Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has urged African leaders to work together and end the refugee situation, saying the African people need peace and good governance for development.
“Uganda is a good model that can be emulated and inspire the whole continent on how to handle refugees. I congratulate the people of Uganda and my dear brother President Yoweri Museveni for the appropriate policies in handling refugees,” he said.
President Mbasogo, the first African leader to tour refugee settlements was recently on an on-spot visit to the Kiryandongo refugee settlement to see how refugees and the host communities have managed to live together and share the same facilities and services without conflict. He visited Panyandoli Health Centre 111, and vocation centre before addressing the community.
“Let’s work together to put an end to this situation. African people need peace and good governance to thrive. I am reaffirming my commitment to this cause. We should pull resources and join the fight against conflict and displacement. I want to appreciate the UNHCR, NGOs, Civil society for their work. I also salute refugees who despite their condition, maintain high spirits. A day will come when they will return home and live with integrity.
President Mbasogo who was in Uganda on a two-day official visit is the official AU champion of 2019 on finding solutions to forced displacement in Africa and will represent the AU at the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva.
The Commissioner for Political Affairs of the African Union Ms. S.E Minata Samate Cessouma said the humanitarian situation in Africa continues to deteriorate making it difficult to achieve the goals of agenda 2063. Due to the magnitude of forced displacements in Africa, heads of states and governments dedicated 2019 a year of ‘Refugees, returnees and IDPs: towards a durable solution to forced displacements in Africa. President Mbasogo was designated as a champion of the theme of the year.
“This visit allows our champion to see first hand, to exchange with the refugees and to shed more light on their situation,” she said.
The Assistant Representative (Protection) of UNHCR in Uganda Ms. Margaret Atieno said despite its own challenges, Uganda’s pioneering role, generosity and progressive policies on refugee protection have elevated it to a special place on the world stage.
“In all settlements, refugees live in harmony with host communities and share social amenities. The authorities have taken the initiative to integrate refugees in their development plans,” she said.