By: HORNDIPLOMAT & FANABC
The 33rd African Union (AU) Ordinary Summit opened today in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
The summit is being held with the theme “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development.”
In his opening remarks, AU Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, congratulated the Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed for winning the Nobel Peace Prize.
His remarks also focused on the challenges facing the African continent –ranging from conflicts to threats of terrorism and locust invasion in Ethiopia and Kenya.
“The persistence of terrorism threatens the collapse of some member states and must be eradicated. Women and children remain the biggest victims of conflict,” he said.
The Chairperson said African countries need to mobilize “our energy to deal with these challenges.”
Secretary-General of the United Nation, António Guterres, urged African nations to rally together towards beating poverty and climate crisis as well as silencing guns.
He also called on the international community to act with urgent speed to tackle the locust invasion in the Horn of Africa.
He further urged the South Sudan rivals to listen to the voices of their people who are suffering from the conflict.
As far as Libya is concerned, Guterres said a political solution is the only means to bring peace in that country and foreign intervention will only worsen the situation.
The outgoing AU Chairperson, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, presented the achievement and efforts made in the past one year in African security, peace and development.
He handed over the baton to the new AU Chairperson, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa said addressing challenges of women empowerment, gender-based violence and conflicts in Libya and South Sudan will be high in the agenda of AU in 2020.
He also called for continental unity “to build the Africa we want and silence the guns.”