Tag Archives: Ethiopia’s underperformance

Double Standards:             Ethiopia Must Solve its Internal Displacement Crisis

10 Jan

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by Nikita Taniparti*, The Globe Post

The world has been loud in its laudation of Ethiopia’s commitment. However, Ethiopia’s success with refugees is in stark contrast with its underperformance with internally displaced persons. Comparing the two types of displaced groups is unfair, but that doesn’t mean the country cannot catch up with itself.

June 2019. The spacious lobby of the Hilton in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa was unusually brimming with confused and harried-looking visitors. Preempting my curiosity, a colleague grimly explained that the new arrivals were a result of the latest in several evacuation announcements issued in South Sudan.

“Every time there is such conflict, Addis is the top-choice destination in the region,” he said. “These people are only the wealthy ones. This means that the rest of Ethiopia will get a new wave of refugees again. But we already have millions of our own displaced.”

He is right. Ethiopia hosts almost 750,000 refugees from all over the region and is set to host more as conflicts worsen. Displaced persons within its own borders, though, far outnumber the refugees. Estimates place the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) at over 3 million.

Ethiopia’s Refugee Policies

Ethiopia last year adopted a refugee law that, among other things, allows refugees to get work permits, access primary education, and obtain drivers’ licenses. The U.N. refugee agency called the law one of the “most progressive refugee policies in Africa.”

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