Compaore Urges Collegues To Examine Causes Of Conflict

ALGIERS- Algeria (PANA) -- The outgoing OAU chairman, President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso, Monday urged his African counterparts to use their annual gathering "to reflect deeply on the underlying causes of conflicts and reasons for their increase in the continent.
" Presenting a report at the opening of the 35th OAU summit, he wondered "why these conflicts have become so cruel, so difficult to resolve" while at the same time pitting "more and more of our member states" against each other.
Compaore, who spent most of his one-year mandate trying to defuse various tension spots, expressed his conviction that the long-term solution to these conflicts lies in combating poverty and the politics of exclusion.
He reported that some of his peace efforts and those of his colleagues were successful while others were faced with obstinate problems.
He said the Ethiopia-Eritrea border conflict, the civil wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola, the political crisis in Guinea Bissau and the Comoros, were discussed in December, during the 4th session of the OAU committee on conflict prevention, management and resolution.
"The idea of holding an extraordinary summit to discuss the persistence of these conflicts could not be realised in March" due to coordination hitches, he added.
However, Compaore welcomed the recent peace agreement concluded in Lome by the government of Sierra Leone and the rebel Revolutionary United Front, under the auspices of President Gnassingbe Eyadema, the current ECOWAS chairman.
He also commended President Laurent-Desire Kabila's desire for internal political dialogue and the progress reached towards peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo, through the efforts of President Frederick Chiluba of Zambia.
Compaore said the above successes, and the political normalisation in Guinea Bissau with the support of President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia, were positive signals for hope and "concrete examples" that nothing can stop "African solidarity" if there is determination and unity.
He lauded the Ouagadougou Resolution adopted at the 1998 OAU summit, saying it precipitated the suspension of the unfair embargo imposed on Libya by the UN Security Council over the Lockerbie affair.
On the Ethiopia-Eritrea border conflict, Compaore regretted that the mediation efforts of the High Level delegation created in Ouagadougou in June 1998 had not yet yielded the desired results.

11 july 1999 09:29:00

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