By Isaac Aregbesola
Addis Ababa, – The African Union (AU) has been called upon to consider U.S. President Donald Trump’s order to suspend the refugee status of several African immigrants and address refugee problems in Africa.
The outgoing African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma made the call at the 28th session of the AU Heads of State Assembly in Addis Ababa.
Dlamini-Zuma said there was need for the commission to urgently speak with one voice and react to the move by the U.S president on the issue.
“What we do about ending of the refugee status of our people is a test to our unity and solidarity,” she said.
She said the Summit, dedicated to discussing the youth dividends in Africa, was concerned at the growing crisis facing the youthful population in Africa.
Dlamini-Zuma said most of them had been forced to flee the continent in search of better livelihoods and jobs in some European countries.
She said that Africa’s potential of producing 200 million people currently aged 15-24 years was a crucial opportunity to attract investments in technology.
The Ex-AUC chief, however, said that the failure to effectively utilise the opportunity to train youths in such fields as engineering, agriculture among other skills put their future at risk.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the AU did not immediately declare its plan of action in the middle of the ongoing refugee ban in the US.
The continental body, eager to implement a broad plan of action in enhancing the free movement of people, was urged by its Executive organ to consider retaliation in solidarity with the affected refugees
NAN also reports that UN Secretary-General Antonio Gueterres, commended African leaders for consistently opening up their borders to refugees, even when borders were being closed in developed countries around the world
He pointed out that `African nations host the world’s largest refugees.
“I thank African nations for their grand generosity of opening up borders to refugees while some in the developed world are closing theirs,” said the UN Chief
The incoming AU Chairman, President Alpha Conde of Guinea said putting an end to the suicidal-crossing by African youth to Europe and other countries was urgent and would justify the AU’s usefulness.
He noted that the U.S. has already deported several African citizens, including the first batch of 90 Somali refugees, who were still stranded in Nairobi.