Churches call for curb on refugees

By on May 1, 2005

Churches from across Africa are calling on their governments to restrict practices that increase the number of refugees on the continent, saying the toll is swelling and that authorities are showing no visible interest in dealing with the problem.

“We must as Africans and churches play the role of holding our governments accountable,” Sydia Nduna, a Zambian consultant on uprooted people for the World Council of Churches said at a recent media conference in Nairobi. “We should be pressurizing our governments to put in place measures that encourage people to stay at home.”

Ms. Nduna was attending a recent All Africa Conference of Churches meeting on Challenges of Uprootedness, Wars and Conflicts in Africa.

Many refugee host-nations have claimed migrants are a security threat, leading to huge investments in systems to thwart the movement of uprooted people, but Ms. Nduna said this weakened the international treaties that protect the displaced.

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