The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network

Over 700,000 war refugees from Ukraine hosted in Germany

Germany is providing shelter to more than 700,000 refugees from Ukraine who have fled from their country due to ongoing war with Russia.

Speaking in Arusha, the Director Rule of Law Program for Anglophone Sub-Saharan Africa from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Dr Stefanie Rothenberger, explains that there are some other 2.2 million people currently seeking refuge in Germany.

Dr Stefanie Rothenberger was speaking during the Africa Chapter of the International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges (IARMJ) Biennial Regional Conference currently taking place in Arusha, Tanzania.

“Germany a country that has great experience in welcoming refuges, and that in fact holds the third largest population of refugees worldwide.”

“There are many more people searching for refuge in Germany, that stirred my immediate interest in this conference. Only lately, more than 700,000 Ukrainians have received protection status as war refugees in Germany.” says Dr Rothernberger.

It is regarded as a high priority, a responsibility that is taken very seriously in my country, and that has a lot to do with our very own history.

The current refugee crisis and how to properly handle it, how to offer help and support to those who had to leave everything behind, is and remains a constant topic on the political agenda in Germany. 

“And so, having being a civil servant in German Parliament before I came to Africa I went on several official missions with high ranking German politicians who wanted to learn more about the situation of refugees outside Europe, like the Speaker of German Parliament, with whom I went to Jordan to learn about the living conditions in one of the world’s biggest refugee camps, Zaatari, which is more of a permanent city than a temporary shelter to refugees; or I went to Sicily with our Vice Speaker, where we spoke to those who survived the dangerous trip over the Mediterranean in the search of safety and a better future; and we went to Tunisia and spoke to those who were eager to take this trip, regardless of its life-threatening dangers, which all of it are encounters and experiences that left a deep impression on me and that I will never forget.”

Director Rule of Law Program for Anglophone Sub-Saharan Africa from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation – Dr Stefanie Rothenberger,

Now being Africa, she is more than happy to support a Conference that is dealing with the topic of forced displacement and migration from a legal point of view, especially also against the backdrop of the gravity of the situation being further enhanced by the challenges of the climate crisis and the often-inter-connected expansion of terrorist groups across the continent, which are all not very encouraging future prospects.

In her it is of major importance to efficiently deal with the problem in a comprehensive manner, close to the countries and regions of origin.

That enhances the overall security in the region and at the same time does not put the burden of a months-long life-threating flight, in many cases over the ocean, on those who were forced to leave their home countries, which usually also means a great loss of potential for the African continent.

A comprehensive legal framework on a regional and national level and its efficient application is key in the endeavor.

And like in so many other fields of law on the continent, there is good and progressive legislation in place, it is just a question of its proper implementation.

And that is why it is such an excellent approach to start this conference with a two-day training session for judges from the region on the application of the existing migration and refugee laws. 

The conference is attended by many high-ranking representatives from the judiciary, from the national and regional level, from the government of the host country Tanzania, from academia and from civil society.

They have come together for an in-depth exchange of views and best practice for more or less an entire week. An exchange that is set to make a meaningful contribution to the protection of human rights, and with it the enhancement of security and stability on the continent.

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