Panafrican News Agency

AU mini-Summit on ending conflict calls for deepening peace amid pandemic

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The African Union High-Level Retreat on the Promotion of Peace, Security and Stability in Africa, has emphasised the urgent need to ensure peace and stability reigns in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui, said on Friday that the AU would ensure the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic offers an opportunity for peacemaking in Africa.

"We at AU know the centrality of peace to our continent. We shall ensure the pandemic offers opportunities for peacemaking in Africa," Chergui said in a speech during the opening of the virtual retreat.

The retreat aims to review the AU’s existing mediation and conflict prevention instruments, partnerships and practices in order to determine their suitability to effectively prevent and manage conflicts on the continent, within the specific context of COVID-19, and beyond, according  to the AU.

The Retreat seeks to offer insights and debate around the various technological and social innovations that have allowed mediation practice on the continent to continue despite the very limited opportunity and capacity for conventional approaches. 

The Retreat attended virtually by Moussa Faki Mahamat, African Union Commission Chairperson, brought together dignitaries and peacemakers from the African Union.

The Retreat also brought together the Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs), the United Nations system, Members of the AU Panel of the Wise, Members of the AU Network of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Mediation (FemWise-Africa), renowned academics, experts and AU partners, the AU said.

Commissioner Chergui said the AU was happy with the progress it was making in enhancing the role of women and youth in conflict prevention.

"We will contemplate on the gains of our peace mediation efforts in Africa. I am sure we will make progress in achieving the priority gains in silencing the guns in Africa," he added.

The Retreat discussed the current global and continental context of peace and security and engaged in constructive self-assessment of international and continental conflict prevention, peace-making and peacebuilding efforts in Africa.

It took note of emerging policy and field approaches on peace-making, and the resultant challenges and opportunities in order to devise appropriate strategies for conflict prevention, resolution and management within the COVID-19 context and beyond.

It also offered a platform to identify concrete opportunities for multidimensional collaboration and harmonization of efforts to resolve conflict in Africa, the AU said.

-0- PANA AO/MA 11Dec2020