Chris Steven, Abuja
The African contingent to the 133rd Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly holding in Geneva, Switzerland is to present the issue of refugees arising from the activities of the insurgent group before the international union to find ways forward.
The decision of the African countries was articulated at a meeting preceding the opening session on Saturday chaired by the leader of the Nigerian delegation and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Lasun Yussuff Sulaimon .
At the meeting, several countries complained about the insurgent group and the effects of its activities on the socio-economic life of the affected people.
The activities of the insurgent group have led to the displacement of millions of people across the West African sub region, including Cameroun.
The latest figure for refugees and displaced persons was put at over five million in the Northeast zone of Nigeria.
However, the Sudanese position was adopted by the contingent after robust debate on its effectiveness.
It was also agreed by the African delegation that a meeting be held with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the same issue to articulate a position with a view to ratify the adoption of the Sudanese position as the African position.
Chairman of of the African regional group, Honourable Lasun said adopting and supporting a common position by the African group showed how concerned the continent was about refugees and the reasons behind it.
He said: “After listening to the representative of Sudan, it was not difficult to adopt the presentation because it was sound and workable.
“Most African countries can relate with the issue because of the effect refugees on the socio-economic development of our respective countries.
“Whether it was through wars, natural disasters or activities of insurgent groups like Boko Haram or Al-shabaab, we all know how it feels.
“As a result, we are duty-bound to do what we think will benefit the entire continent, that will also add value to our lives.
“We can not afford to treat the issue of refugees with levity, it has to be deliberated, coordinated and vigorously implemented”.