'2011 is AU's worst political year'

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The crises in Cote d'Ivoire and Libya as well as the popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia made 2011 the worst "political year" for the African Union (AU), Chairperson of the AU Commission, Jean Ping, said Thursday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Speaking at the opening of the 20th Executive Council of the AU, Ping said that the recent crises in Africa had compelled the AU Commission to be creative, basing its decisions on the need to contribute to the consolidation of the democratization process in Africa.

"In the field of peacebuilding and security on the continent, we have worked closely with the AU Peace and Security which has always been proactive in addressing prevention, management and resolution of conflicts and crises," he said.

He also welcomed actions taken by regional states to fight against various forms of trafficking and terrorism in the Sahel-Saharan Africa.

"I would like to hail efforts in the fight against terrorism and weapons proliferation in the regions of the Sahel-Saharan Africa. I would also welcome efforts made in conflict resolution and peace building," Ping noted.

According to him, Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda are to receive AU's commendation for their contributions to the promoting of peace and reconciliation in Somalia, saying that the four countries were the sole contributors to the African Peace Force in Somalia (AMISOM), which has nearly 8,000 men.

PANA reports that the various crises in Africa will be widely discussed at the Council meeting which shall prepare the agenda for the 18th AU Summit, scheduled this weekend.

African Ministers of Foreign Affairs will also discuss, on Thursday and Friday behind closed doors, the draft budget for the Commission for the year 2012, climate change issues and the role of Africa in global governance.

26 janvier 2012 14:55:07

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