Although the countries of North Africa are not traditionally seen as great sources of displacement, they have seen their share conflict. It is estimated, for example, that nearly one million Algerians were displaced during that country's internal conflict in the 90s. Egypt continues to host many refugees fleeing Sudan and Somalia's civil wars.
The region is also increasingly becoming a transit zone for immigrants and refugees from sub-Saharan Africa seeking entrance to Europe, and as Europe tightens its borders, refugees are increasingly finding themselves being forced to seek refuge.
Focus on Sudan
Armed conflict continues to rage in Sudan, both in the Darfur region of western Sudan and in the regions of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. In more than ten years of conflict, hundreds of thousands have died as a result of the conflict and millions have been forced to flee their homes.
The International Refugee Rights Initiative has sought to address this crisis by bringing together the Sudan Consortium, a coalition of more than 50 Africa-based and Africa-focused NGOs dedicated to working together to promote a just, peaceful and sustainable end to the ongoing humanitarian and human rights crisis in Sudan.
The Consortium was founded in September 2004 as concerned NGOs gathered on the fringes of the third extraordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Pretoria, South Africa. The Consortium reflects the perspective of African civil society and provides a forum for unified action, particularly through sustained engagement with the institutions of the African Union. In addition to providing support to Sudanese and Darfurian civil society, to date the Darfur Consortium has engaged in activities aimed at raising awareness about the crisis, monitoring the investigation of the International Criminal Court and advocacy on accountability for serious human rights violations, protection of civilians and the peace process.
Recent publications of the International Refugee Rights Initiative related to the North and the Horn of Africa:
Sudan: Prominent human rights defender detained incommunicado, 20 December 2016
Olivia Bueno, "Sudan: The Limits of a Lonely Court," published in Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: The Deterrent Effect of the International Criminal Court, published by the International Nuremburg Principles Academy, November 2016.
Sudan's Blue Nile Five Years On: A Crisis Normalised, Press Release, 6 September 2016
A Crisis Normalised: Civilian perspectives on the conflict in Sudan's Blue Nile State, Full report, 6 September 2016
Submission to the Universal Periodic Review of Sudan 2016, September 2015.
The International community must act to end Sudan’s “unprecedented and intense” bombing of civilians (press release), June 2014
Read the full letter to the UN Security Council. (In French).
Read the full letter to the AU. (In Arabic).
Read the full letter to the LAS. (In Arabic).
African Commission: Investigate Sudan Killings, November 2013
The long road to Juba for displaced South Sudanese, Matthew Corrigan, July 31, 2012.