Conflicts in Africa caused by exclusion, neglect-Prof Akpuru-Aja

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Prof. Aja Apkuru-Aja, former director of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), has urged all levels of government to serve the interest and welfare of everyone to avoid conflict.
Akpuru-Aja, who was a keynote speaker, gave the advice during the 2018 Annual Governance Conference on “The Political Economy of Migration in Africa” in Enugu on Thursday.
According to him, eco-conflict across Africa is structural conflict arising from political and economic issues of marginalization, exclusion and neglect.
He said that most often, the conflict across Africa is eco-conflict, which could be trace to inequality in exploiting and exploring of resources.
The don added that as a result of conflict, people were forced to leave their comfort zones, saying that life in Internally Displaced Peoples (IDP) camps was difficult due to the large population and spread of different diseases that could affect many.
Aja-Akpuru explained that migration was not new, stressing that it was natural for people to migrate either voluntary or involuntary for greener pastures and as such should not cause conflict.
Another speaker, Dr Ernest Aniche of Federal University Otuoke, said that migration all over the world was irreversible because it was as old as man.
Aniche added that before many countries got colonized, people have been migrating from one point to another without conflict, saying that after Independence many African countries began to tighten their boundaries.
He said that there was legal migration and illegal migration, explaining that migration was trans-national while human trafficking was not.
According to him, African Union (AU) migration policy of 2006 that was made to address the problem of migration has not been able to address the problem till date.
Dr Nnaemeka Okereke, from National Defense College, noted that the security significance of the Anglophone refugees from Cameroon on host communities in Nigeria was a difficult one.
Okereke said that assessment revealed that the Cameroonian refugees in Cross Rivers State were mostly based in the communities within Nigeria that are sharing borders with Cameroon.
He added that most refugees lived within host communities with relatives.
Okereke explained that problems associated with security was as a result of independence by different countries who are now making effort to safeguard their territories, therefore having legal and illegal migrants.
In his opening remark, Chairman of the African Heritage Institution (Afri-Heritage), Prof. Ufo Okeke-Uzodike, urged the participants to always read through the conference programme for more understanding.

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