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Leaders pose for a family photo during the 33rd African Union Heads of State Summit at African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on February 6, 2020. [Photo: Mınasse Wondımu Haılu /Anadolu]
The drive to build a “strong” Africa, enshrined in Agenda 2063 — the continent’s political, social and economic development blueprint — has been challenged by security problems, chair of the African Union Commission said.
Moussa Faki Mahamat’s remarks came in his opening speech at the Executive Council meeting of the African Union.
The foreign ministers of African countries met to prepare the agenda for the upcoming 33rd Assembly of the heads of state and government slated for Feb. 9-10, under the theme Silencing the Guns.
“Rising terrorist attacks in Somalia, Sahel region, and Mozambique as well as the conflict and post-electoral violence in Libya constitute serious sources of concern.
“The complex nature of these conflicts requires reevaluation of the security doctrine on which the goal of ‘silencing the gun’ was established. We need an innovative and inclusive peace solution,” Mahamat said.
UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Executive Secretary Vera Songwe corroborated the concern, saying: “Compared to 2005 when there were only six countries in active conflict on the continent and seven armed conflicts, 15 years later and 10 years after the Union declared the need to silence the guns we have outperformed ourselves for the worse.”
“The number of countries with armed conflicts has risen to 17,” she said, citing the Peace Research Institute Oslo which found that the number of armed conflicts escalated from seven to 21 in 2005-2018.
She said: “Today, our task is to raise a clarion call for the voiceless, for those maimed by the tools of war. Those scared by the violence it envelops humankind in. The cruelty it engenders in otherwise peaceful situations.”
“The Agenda of securing peace and of silencing the guns must be dealt with in a comprehensive manner,” Songwe said, adding: “To effectively silence the guns, African countries will have to ensure all gun imports into the continent are consistent with international practice and the governance systems around the circulation of arms on the continent is transparent.”
The upcoming African Union Summit — to be attended by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas — will focus on security of the continent and chart out ways of attaining peace across the continent.Source: Anadolu
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