from ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) – SOME 48 000 people in Africa are registered as missing amid conflict in the continent and unsafe migration to Europe.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) disclosed the figures on Monday at the International Day of the Missing.
“This figure represents only a fraction of the actual number of missing people and the vast humanitarian crisis we are dealing with,” said Patrick Youssef, the director of the Africa region for the ICRC.
“This is the daily reality for tens of thousands of families on the African continent,” he said.
“The fact is that people going missing is one of the most damaging and long-lasting humanitarian consequences of armed conflicts, violence and migration,” Youssef said.
The Africa Commission on Human and People’s Rights of African Union recently adopted a resolution on missing migrants in Africa.
ICRC believes this serves as a ground-breaking example for states in other regions to follow.
Youssef urged on states to focus on humanitarian priorities such as preventing people from going missing, facilitating their search and identification if they went missing, and addressing the specific needs of their families.
He assured the ICRC remained committed to helping people maintain family contacts in spite of displacement and migration.
“We also stand ready to provide our technical and legal expertise to help ascertain the fate and the whereabouts of missing people and to support their families,” Youssef said.
– CAJ News