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IPU Assembly: Nigeria backs Kenya to tackle South Sudan crisis

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135th Inter- Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly began in Geneva with African countries reaching a consensus to include South Sudan on its emergency item

The 135th Inter- Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly began in Geneva with African countries reaching a consensus to include on its emergency item, conflict in South Sudan and the huge scale of humanitarian burden it leaves on the shoulders of other African countries.

The proposal which was sponsored by Kenya was strongly backed by Nigeria, DR Congo, Rwanda, Ghana, Principle and Sao Tome, Zambia and Namibia ahead of proposal from Uganda asking fellow African countries to support the issue of guarantee safety of thousands of African migrants to their respective countries of destination.

The other item proposed was the issue of the liberation of the Palestinian State from Israel which was pushed by Morocco.

Making the case for South Sudan, Kenya raised alarm over the scale and magnitude of deaths and humanitarian crisis that would confront the continent particularly the East African region if the rest of Africa sits back and watch the state of South Sudan collapses.

It argued that the dot of shame is on the continent if it refuses to act and act fast. 

“South Sudan is our last born. 

“We must therefore move to Tackle the internal conflict in the country where hundreds of thousands of citizens have been displaced”, it said.

Uganda had made very strong argument on the need for Africa to urgently address the issue of safety for migrants thousands of whom are on a desperate journey across the Mediterranean into Europe. 

Rebecca Kadaga, Speaker, Uganda Parliament gripped the attention of many when she tucked out the picture of an African woman struggling on a rope to stay afloat and alive.

Over 4,000 migrants mostly from Sub-Sahara Africa have died trying to cross the Mediterranean which has become the graveyard of African people most of them Women and children.

Kadaga wants UN to establish a migrant force.

She argued that while Africa needs to bother about worries of the global communities, Africa must learn to focus on its own issues.

Nigeria which is led by its President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, however believes Africa should approach the issue with caution.

He pointed out that Africa cannot isolate itself from global problems.

It argued further that Africa cannot force other countries to accepts migrants coming from the continent.

It argued that it would be fruitless “trying to enforce what is not unenforceable.

It said what Africa should do instead is to address the issues of poverty, hunger and insecurity that drive people to such breaking point. 

After a prolonged debate, the African Group eventually reached a consensus to table before the rest of the world the urgent need to resolve conflict in South Sudan.  

The Africa Group would pursue this agenda even as it reviewed it resolved in its strategy for 2016 IPU Assembly to make parliaments in Africa stronger and more democratic.

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