GENEVA, Switzerland, February 14, 2014 – Strong concerns were expressed by the World Council of Churches (WCC) Executive Committee over the increasing number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the on-going conflict in South Sudan in statements adopted by the committee on 12 February, during its meeting in Bossey, Switzerland.
A statement by the WCC Executive Committee notes an alarming trend of an increase in the number of IDPs, especially as a result of the escalation of violence last year in Syria, the Central African Republic and South Sudan.
The executive committee affirms that “all persons, including those internally displaced, have the right to freedom of movement and residence and should be protected against being arbitrarily displaced”.
The statement calls on the governments to fulfil their responsibility in providing assistance to IDPs and implementing policies to protect their human rights.
The statement acknowledges the UNHCR Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement as an important international framework for the protection of IDPs. It requests the international community to strengthen their efforts in addressing “long-term displacement situations, and the responsibilities of states”.
The WCC Executive Committee also adopted a Minute on the situation of South Sudan strongly condemning the recent violence in the world’s newest country.
Speaking on the political crisis in South Sudan which started on 15 December 2013, the Minute regrets the loss of lives. The document calls for “immediate cessation of hostilities”, urging “all warring parties to respect, honour and implement in good faith the cease-fire agreement” signed on 23 January in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The document also urges “all stakeholders to recommit themselves to a sustained and long-term process of reconciliation and healing, in order to build confidence among citizens, restore trust and to promote peace”.
SOURCE: World Council of Churches (WCC)