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Security Council stresses need to resolve root causes of refugee crisis in Africa

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The Security Council expressed its grave concern that "alarmingly high" numbers of refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) in Africa do not receive adequate protection and assistance, at the end its debate on the issue today.
"The Council stresses the need to address the root causes of armed conflict in a comprehensive manner in order to prevent internal displacement and the outflow of refugees," its current President, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke of the United States, said in an agreed Council statement after the open session.

"The Council also condemned the deliberate targeting of civilians and the practice of forced displacement," he added, and noted that there is no comprehensive protection regime for IDPs and that existing norms are not being fully implemented.

The Presidential statement underlined the importance of safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel to civilians in armed conflict, and condemned recent acts of deliberate violence against them.

The Security Council, added Ambassador Holbrooke, noted with concern the shortfall in funding for refugee and IDP programmes in Africa and called on the international community to provide such programmes with the necessary financial resources.

The Council was earlier briefed by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadako Ogata.