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House to collaborate with Red Cross on IDPs – Gbajabiamila

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila says  the house will collaborate with the International Committee on Red Cross (ICRC) to ameliorate the challenges Internally Displaced People (IDPs) go through.

Gbajabiamila spoke when he hosted a team of the ICRC led by the head of the organisation in Nigeria, Mr Eloi Fillion, on Thursday in Abuja.

He also said the house would follow the necessary steps to domesticate the Kampala Convention on IDPs, which would go a long way in addressing their plight.

‎”I want to thank you for your role, particularly in the Northeast; if not for you, I do not know how we will describe the situation.

“We are more than happy to collaborate with you, I am glad you are working with my Special Assistant on IDPs; he has a lot of zeal for the work, we always look forward to collaboration such as this,” he said.

On the request of the ICRC team for the house to domesticate the Geneva Convention and the Kampala Convention, Gbajabiamila said there was need to have more details.

He raised  concern that a situation where some international conventions demanded that organisations such as ICRC could provide assistance to both soldiers and insurgents at the same time would not augur well for the country.‎

He said that should the house domesticate the conventions, different states had to do the same.

Gbajabiamila called for the list of treaties that needed domestication in Nigeria saying that the Committee on Treaties, Agreements and Protocols would  work on.

Earlier, Fillion said the ICRC would want to collaborate with the house in a number of areas to achieve its mandate in Nigeria.

He called for the domestication of the Geneva Convention and the Kampala Convention on IDPs.

Fillion said the international community had given ICRC ‎specific mandate to deliver humanitarian services, saying that they were independent and neutral in carrying out their mandate.

‎He said the ICRC would organise a workshop ‎where all issues relating to its activities and what it sought  to achieve would be thrashed.

NAN reports that the Kampala Convention(formally, the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa) is a treaty of the African Union that addresses internal displacement caused by armed conflicts, natural disasters and large-scale development projects in Africa.

The Convention was adopted in October 2009.

As of 2016 it has been signed by 40 and ratified by 25 of the 54 member states of the AU.

The Convention entered into force on Dec. 6, 2012.

NAN reports that Article 5 (4) specifically establishes state responsibilities for the protection and assistance of internally displaced persons, whose displacement is the result of “natural or human made disasters, including climate change.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Sadiya Hamza

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