Salim Appeals To African Leaders To Unite

ALGIERS- Algeria (PANA) -- The 35th summit of the OAU opened Monday in Algiers with Secretary General Salim Ahmed Salim appealing to African leaders to muster enough resolve to "make the 21st century Africa's century.
" He said the organisation's founding fathers laid the proper foundation for Africa to achieve this objective.
Salim told the leaders that they had the responsibility to make sure that Africa entered the new "millennium stronger, better prepared and ready to claim its place in the world.
" He, however, cautioned the leaders that this could not be achieved unless they changed the way they conduct their business.
He noted that there were many a time when the summit had passed declarations on how to go forward but this had not been adhered to in practice.
Salim said despite the OAU's declaration against unconstitutional change of governments, Africa witnessed such changes in the Comoros and Niger in 1999.
He added that Africa could avoid crises and conflicts, which led to such events, if the leaders exercised unity.
Salim, however, had words of praise for Presidents Frederick Chiluba of Zambia and Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo for the roles they played in resolving the crises in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone, respectively.
The government of Sierra Leone and rebels of the Revolutionary United Front signed a peace accord in Lome Wednesday to end eight years of civil war, and regional leaders endorsed a ceasefire agreement Saturday night in Lusaka to end the war in Congo.
Salim encouraged other leaders to continue such efforts in resolving other conflicts in Africa such as the border conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
UN Secreatry General Kofi Annan assured the leaders that the world body "will do its part to see that the (two) accords are implemented.
" He urged the leaders to do all they can to end Africa's other conflicts.

12 july 1999 09:29:00




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