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Migration & Refugees

Q&A: Conflict in Africa makes Migration Compact Useless

IPS Correspondent Danielle Engolo interviews EVANS TEKENGE MANUIKA, head of All for the Integration of Migrants in Morocco (ATIMA)

The Global Compact for Migration will be useless as long as there are still areas of conflict in Africa. Credit: Jared Ferrie/IPS

MARRAKECH, Morocco, Dec 12 2018 (IPS) - The recently adopted Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration continues to generate enormous debate as to its pros and cons. Evans Tekenge Manuika, head of Association des Travailleurs Immigrés au Maroc, who spoke to IPS at the  conference, warned that the Compact will remain a dead letter without peace in Africa.

Inter Press Service (IPS): As an association working with migrants, what do you think of the recently adopted Global Compact on Migration?

Evans Tekenge Manuika (ETM): The Global Compact for Migration will be useless as long as there are still areas of conflict in Africa. We came here as part of civil society to take concrete action instead of just talking. We talked a lot. It is high time to make migration safe, orderly and regular. We have brought ideas for the great powers to campaign for peace in conflict zones in Africa. We must also give hope to the people, acting upstream at the level of the countries of departure.

IPS: How should the Compact be implemented?

ETM: We ask the United Nations to take concrete action, instead of just denouncing. We must campaign for peace in areas where there is conflict of interest between great powers. We must promote development and think also about the future of Africa’s youth. What we also ask for as a solution to the question of migration, is to act at the level of the countries of origin and departure and not at the countries of arrival.

If we address the issue of migration at the host country level, it will be a waste of time. It must be treated at the source. If in the country of departure there are still wars, there will always be people who will immigrate. African youth is sacrificed; their future is unclear—that’s why people keep immigrating.

IPS: Do you think that African States, that are generally criticised for not respecting their national legislation, will be able to respect the provisions of the Compact?

ETM: It is true that Africa’s Heads of State are often criticised in that regard, but let’s try to give them a chance this time with this compact and sit at the same table to find adequate solutions for migration. Let us give them the opportunity to make efforts for the implementation of the provisions of this Compact, so as to better manage migration on our continent. So, wait and see to judge.

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