AU official says objective of "Silencing the Guns" in Africa achievable

Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-10 21:59:31|Editor: huaxia

ADDIS ABABA, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Looking at the achievements made in promoting peace and security in Africa, the objective of silencing the guns and ending wars across the continent is achievable, a senior African Union (AU) official said on Monday.

"Looking at the achievements made in promoting peace and security in the continent, in recent decades, particularly since 2004, with the operationalization of the AU Peace and Security Council, the noble objective of silencing the guns and ending wars in the continent is achievable," said Ramtane Lamamra, special envoy of the AU Commission chairperson on Silencing the Guns.

The special envoy made the remarks while addressing the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU on the implementation of the flagship project on "Silencing the Guns" at the AU headquarters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Lamamra also noted that from around 30 active conflicts in 2004, Africa must celebrate the fact that it is now addressing fewer conflicts than in the past.

"Africa has a robust blueprint for promoting peace, security and stability, as well as advancing good governance, respect for human and people's rights and constitution," he said. "This blueprint is the combination of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and the African Governance Architecture (AGA)."

He stressed that while the respect for national sovereignty is paramount, "this should not undermine the efforts to scale up conflict prevention and, if and when necessary, take collective action in the name of the principle of non-indifference as enshrined in the Constitutive Act."

"Cognizant of the fact that civil conflicts are triggered by series of disagreements, disparities within or between individuals, communities and factions, we are faced with the challenges of being more creative in conceptualizing and implementing innovative solutions to conflicts," Lamamra said. "In this perspective, our focus should primarily be to ensure the preservation of national unity, functioning of state institutions and overall sovereignty of the people."

He said a significant proportion of conflicts across Africa have been predominantly driven by ethnic rivalry over political succession, disagreement over modalities for the conduct of national elections or over the outcomes of elections, as well as power struggles within the state.

Conflicts also arise due to struggle over control and access to natural resources and the accruing benefits, Lamamra added.

"While we continue to deploy conventional methods of conflict resolution through processes that involve the use of wise Pan-Africanist, international and regional organizations, the involvement of neighboring countries, peace support operations and civil society organizations, we should be cognizant of the nature, scope and cultural settings of these conflicts," he said. "With this approach, one can then forge a tailored comprehensive strategy, including the use of formal and informal mediation mechanisms at the village, community, state, regional and continental levels."

The 33rd AU summit is being held under the theme of the year, "Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa's Development."