African Union seeks more efforts to consolidate peace

Addis Ababa, Jan 31 (IANS) The African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) Friday said Africa needs to scale up efforts to consolidate peace amid rising conflicts on the continent.

Commissioner for the AU organ, Smail Chergui, told a press briefing that conflicts that erupted in the region over the past year underscored the need for hard work to enhance peace in Africa, Xinhua reported.
While commending the restoration of peace in Mali and Madagascar, the commissioner expressed concern over the crises in Central African Republic and South Sudan.
He commended the work of the AU-led peacekeeping force also known as the International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA), saying it was doing a good job.
“The troops have already liberated a route that leads to Cameroon and ensured humanitarian organisations reach the people in need,” he said.
He expressed hope that the international community would continue to assist the central African country where about two million people are in need of humanitarian aid due to the conflict.
Regarding the situation in the Sahel region, he noted that instability in the region threatened peace in Mali, hence the need for a regional and holistic approach to succeed in restoring peace in the region.
“On its part, the AU will take all necessary steps to strengthen security in the Sahel region,” he said.
He also stressed the need for harmonisation of various peace initiatives in the Sahel region for positive results, noting that currently there were about 16 of these peace initiatives.
He said more effort was still required in the Democratic Republic of Congo to eliminate all insurgent forces that continue to put in danger the lives of innocent citizens.
The AUPSC was happy with the election of a new government in Somalia, the adoption of a new constitution in Tunisia and was fully supportive of the Egyptian roadmap to peace and stability, Chergui said.
He said the AU had not abandoned Libya, another current hotspot, and pledged that the AU would continue to support peace efforts in the North African country.
As a country that has assisted many African countries in the past and with huge investments on the continent, Libya should be assisted to regain peace so that it resumed its development process, Chergui said.
“If the situation remains like that in Libya, then our efforts will have been in vain. We need a stable Libya, a country that has its place in the region,” he said.