Africa’s ‘long lasting peace’ a key objective

President Cyril Ramaphosa says sustained peace on the African continent is now more important than ever.

He was speaking during his opening remarks and subsequent media briefing during Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s State Visit to the country.

During the visit, the two leaders reflected on the current state of affairs in countries including Mozambique, Sudan and Ethiopia, and concluded that “much more needs to be done to silence the guns” on the African continent.

“It is a concern that while most of the African continent enjoys peace, democracy and stability, there are still pockets of insecurity and conflict within countries and between neighbouring countries.

“We reiterated the fact that the need for long-lasting peace and security on our continent has become more urgent as African countries operationalised the historic African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement on 1 January this year,” President Ramaphosa said.

In Mozambique, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has sent in a military mission to help that country’s government to fight an extremist militant group that has attacked Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado region – leaving hundreds dead and thousands displaced.

“South Africa aligns itself with the SADC position to support and assist Mozambique in dealing with instability in the Cabo Delgado area. The Southern African Development Community continues to be seized with the situation in Mozambique and a consolidated regional approach in dealing with the matter is being pursued,” the President said.

In Sudan, protests, violence and instability have escalated following an alleged military takeover and the ousting of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

At least 40 people have reportedly died since instability erupted in that country.

“[W]e strongly condemn any unconstitutional change of government and call on all the parties to engage in constructive, good faith and peaceful dialogue to restore the country’s constitutional order,” President Ramaphosa said.

The President said that he and President Kenyatta also discussed the “grave situation” unfolding in Ethiopia.

That country’s Tigray region has been beset with violence and conflict between an anti-government rebel group and state military for at least a year.

According to UN Human Rights, the violence has left at least two million people displaced, with reasonable grounds to believe that there are several ongoing violations of human rights, including gender based violence and sexual abuse.

“We expressed our conviction that there is scope for dialogue among the warring parties in Ethiopia, and that there is an urgent need for all parties to the conflict to commit to an immediate, indefinite, negotiated ceasefire and an inclusive political dialogue,” President Ramaphosa said.

Source: South African Government News Agency