Ambassador Kamara calls for practical strategies to end conflicts in Africa
November 11, 2016
The 9th Retreat of the African Union Peace and Security Council commenced on Monday, 7th November, 2016 at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka, Zambia.
The theme of the retreat is “Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa by the Year 2020.’’
Welcoming participants, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Zambia, Hon. Harry Kabala, and Her Excellency Susan Sikaneta, Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, expressed delight in hosting the retreat and wished the former a pleasant stay.
Delivering his opening remarks, Chair for the AU Peace and Security Council Retreat, His Excellency Osman Keh Kamara, Ambassador of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the Africa Union and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, thanked his colleague, Ambassador Sikaneta, for initiating the idea of hosting the retreat in Lusaka. He further extended gratitude to His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the Government and People of the Republic of Zambia, for the warm hospitality accorded them since their arrival in Lusaka. Ambassador Kamara informed the meeting that the purpose of the retreat was to discuss modalities relating to the theme, adding “If we fail to silence the guns on the continent our hope for Agenda 2063 will remain a myth.”
Concluding his remark, the chairperson reiterated that the deliberations, based on open mindedness during the retreat, would render the region a turning point towards peace and prosperity.
Next to take the floor was Secretary to the Commission, Dr. Kambudzi, who represented the Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui.
In his statement, he informed the meeting that once the master roadmap for silencing the guns by 2020 had been considered and adopted by Heads of State and Government, there would be a need to institute elaborate public information and outreach campaign involving all partners at political, institutional, civil society and community levels, thereby encouraging citizens to play a part in achieving the noble goal.
Dr. Kambudzi noted that “silencing the guns will involve more than just collecting and destroying arms but to a large extent, will entail creating and developing a culture of peace among our people and a strategic shift in the way Africa manages its affairs.”
Declaring the retreat open, His Excellency President Lungu commended the AU PSC for assuming a locomotive role towards silencing the guns on the continent by setting in motion the master roadmap for the implementation of concrete and practical steps towards achieving this goal.
President Lungu expressed Zambia’s continued commitment towards the fight against conflicts and violence in the region, and called on Member States not to relent in finding solutions to the current unstable peace and security in Africa, which he described as unacceptable.
The outcome of the retreat will be submitted as part of the Report of the Peace and Security Council on its activities and the state of Peace and Security in Africa to the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government during the January 2017 Summit, for consideration.