Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The African Union (AU) has welcomed the signing of an agreement for the delimitation of the maritime borders of Seychelles, the Union of Comoros and Tanzania on the Indian Ocean triple-point.
The foreign ministers of the three Eastern African nations signed the agreement on 17 February in Victoria, Seychelles, as part of the implementation of the AU border programme, paving the way for the marking of the border, the AU Commission said in a statement on Saturday.
Seychelles Foreign Minister Jean-Paul Adam, and his counterparts from Comoros and Tanzania, Mohammed Bakri Ben Abdoulfatah Charif and Bernard Membe respectively, signed the deal.
“The agreement signed in Victoria constitute a new step in the implementation of the AU Border Programme, launched in 2007,” the Commission said.
It said the three-party deal follows the signing of a similar one in Maputo, Mozambique, in December 2011, for the delimitation of the borders of Comoros, Mozambique and Tanzania.
The border programme covers the delimitation and demarcation of African borders in places where they have not been marked, and seeks to promote cross-border cooperation and capacity building, the AU Commission said, adding: “The overall objective is to prevent conflict and deepen integration.”
“The signing of these agreements is a further testimony to the commitment of the Governments of Comoros, Seychelles and Tanzania to promote peace and security and stability in the region,” it said.
AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Ramtane Lamamra said the border programme was meant to encourage the peaceful co-existence between the communities sharing common borders, which often engage in armed conflicts against each other.
The common border between Kenya and Ethiopia is one such example, where the communities often engage each other in armed conflicts in direct competition for grazing lands and water points for their animals.
Similar incidences have been reported between the communities sharing the Kenya-Uganda border and the Kenya-South Sudan border.
According to the AU officials, the border project is financed by a German non-governmental organization, GIZ, which also provides technical support for its execution.
These efforts are coordinated from a directorate at the AU Commission headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
-0- PANA AO/SEG 19Feb2012