Addressing Forced Displacement in National Planning and Peace Processes:
Localizing the Paradigm Shift to Prevention in Africa
The COVID-19 pandemic has further aggravated existing vulnerabilities and disproportionately impacted forcibly displaced persons, especially those living in conflict-affected and fragile settings. This has tested the operationalization of the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, which aims to address the root causes of and find durable solutions to forced displacement in Africa. The reality on the ground continues to reflect persisting institutional silos; absence of integrated, multisectoral, and inclusive responses; fragmented funding; and exclusion of displacement-affected communities from peace processes and national planning. This leads to a plethora of short-term strategies that treat forcibly displaced persons merely as victims of displacement rather than as active agents of peace and development.
The AU theme for 2020 - „Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa‟s Development‟, highlighted the need to focus on conflict prevention and create synergies between political, peace, and development actors to find durable solutions to forced displacement in Africa and prevent a relapse into violent conflict. This session will examine how the inclusion of forced displacement issues in African peace agreements can provide a paramount opportunity to ensure the safe and voluntary repatriation and integration of forcibly displaced populations, while also harnessing the important role they play in post-conflict reconstruction and development (PCRD) efforts. It will also consider how COVID-19 recovery efforts can contribute towards building resilience, strengthening prevention, and promoting inclusivity of forcibly displaced populations in line with the 2030 SDG pledge to “leave no one behind”.