In 2019, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted General Comment No 5 on the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights: The Right to Freedom of Movement and Residence (Article 12(1)). In this general comment, the commission elaborated on the right to freedom of movement and residence within state borders. This issue, while explicit in international human rights law, is a challenge within various jurisdictions, including in Africa. This article provides a background to and commentary on General Comment No 5, leveraging on the insight of the authors, who participated in its drafting. Unlike the UN Human Rights Committee's earlier general comment, General Comment No 5 provides detailed guidance on the internal dimension of the right to free movement and residence. As “soft law”, its persuasive force depends on a number of factors, including its use at the domestic level, its visibility and its integration into regional human rights jurisprudence.