AU thumbs up role of regional bodies in conflict resolution
Written by: George Kalisa
Friday, August 17th, 2018, 7:59
Rwandan leader and Chairman of the African Union, Paul Kagame said Friday that the role of regional bodies and timely collaboration with AU have proved invaluable in conflict resolution on the continent.
Kagame stressed that a similar spirit was urgent to bring about peace in other countries still engulfed by conflict citing the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He made the remarks at the opening of the 38th SADC Summit in the Namibian capital Windhoek.
This year’s theme is: “Promoting infrastructure development and youth empowerment for sustainable development”
“Besides the socio- economic benefits there are other security issues on our continent that go beyond national sovereignty, affect other nations and call for collective action to resolve,” said President Kagame.
Kagame extended the AU gratitude to SADC for standing with the continent’s body in solving crisis in Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Comoros, adding that AU expects SADC to play the same role in DRC.
He said conflict resolution by other countries and/or regional groupings was not a new phenomenon and explicit roots shared by Africans made the cause a moral obligation and stressed “SADC has a similar role to play in DRC”.
“I wish to stress that we must meet such issues upfront. It has happened before. Crisis of security with cross border implications have been settled by other countries or regional groupings. After all we are all connected,” observed Kagame.
“SADC has accomplished this task in the past in handling political and security issues in Lesotho & Madagascar and recently Comoros. You will be called upon to do the same again as was the case with Zimbabwe in the recent past,” added Kagame.
The AU Chairperson said that security and stability “are necessary conditions for the transformation we desire and a critical part of the AU agenda” and AU was thumps up for SADC “for paying close attention to security and stability”.
He called on African leaders to put above the Continent’s interests by getting rid of inward-looking attitudes and intrigues.
“Attitudes that weaken mutual trust such as saying one thing and acting to the contrary, antagonizing neighbours can only slow us down. Nobody gains, instead we end up advancing external interests who benefit from a divided Africa,” said Kagame.
“We have to keep the big picture in focus. We must continually strive to ensure that our actions are always aligned with our ideals of African Unity. While our stated commitments may be clear we need to do more to match them with results,” he added.