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Mugabe smokes peace pipe

Mugabe smokes peace pipe
June 17
08:59 2015

The 25th African Union (AU) Summit attended by Heads of State and Government was officially opened in Johannesburg on Sunday with AU Chairman Robert Mugabe calling on Africa to silence the guns.

In his official opening remarks, Mugabe, who is also the president of Zimbabwe, called on countries of Africa to endeavor to bring peace and stability to the continent.

The 2012 Marikana Massacre in South Africa.

The 2012 Marikana Massacre in South Africa.

Mugabe said that without peace, Africa’s economic agenda will not succeed. “The prevailing political instability and insecurity in some parts of our continent, clearly demonstrate the urgent need to fully operationalize the African standby force,” Mugabe said. “This will be an important step towards the goal of silencing the guns by 2020.”

AU Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma praised Africa for collectively dealing with the recent Ebola crisis in West Africa.

She however expressed concerns at the growing levels of poverty, unemployment and wars in the continent saying these were the reasons why thousands of African migrants are dying in the Mediterranean sea trying to seek for greener pastures in Europe.

“If we educate and skill our people, with an emphasis on Science, engineering, technology, Mathematics, research and innovation our people will stop undertaking the perilous journey across the Sahel and the Mediterranean,” Dlamini-Zuma said.

Dlamini-Zuma also called on African countries to pay maximum attention to food security.
“Africa has many examples of indigenous and good farming practices, some of them which are climate smart. We must share, replicate and upscale these experiences,” she said. “More must be done on agro-processing as part of building our collective food security, reversing our high food bills and contributing to the industrialization of the continent.”

South African President Jacob Zuma assured African citizens that the leaders will use the two-day summit to deal with all the challenges facing the continent.

“Africa is thus on a new path of development and growth that will enable it to take its rightful place in global affairs,” Zuma said. “To realize our vision, we continue to support attempts to establish sustainable and predictable sources of funding for the African Union that will ensure less reliance on development partners for the implementation of our African programs and projects.”

The summit was, however, overshadowed by the participation of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir who has an International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant over his head. South Africa, being a signatory to the Roman Statues, has an obligation to arrest him and hand him over to the ICC.

However, David Hoile, Director of Africa Research Centre said South Africa’s signature to the AU article that give sitting presidents immunity from arrests and calling on all African countries not to cooperate with the ICC, bars the country from arresting the Sudanese president.

“South Africa was there and voted for the unanimous AU resolutions which called on all AU states not to cooperate with the ICC,” Hoile said. “As a result the government of South Africa is legally bound first and foremost by its obligations to the AU as a constituency member state.”

The AU Summit which ends on Monday is expected to discuss a wide range of issues, including African conflicts, terrorism, migration, self-funding mechanisms for the AU programs, xenophobia violence in South Africa, Ebola, HIV and AIDS as well as poverty eradication. (XINHUA)

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