Majority Leader Preaches on the Practice of Noble Values in Promoting Peace in Africa

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hon Fabakary Tombong Jatta, National Assembly Member for Serrekunda East and Majority leader of the National Assembly, has spoken of the need for African citizens to practice noble values that promote peace on the continent.

He said since the pre-colonial era, the continent has been known for practicing noble values that generated peace within its settlements adding that these practices must be brought back as it has been polluted due to factors relating to acculturation and bad behaviour.

The majority leader made these remarks during a debate on peace and security in Africa at the ninth Ordinary session of the Pan- African Parliament currently ongoing in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Addressing about 225 parliamentarians, Tombong Jatta highlighted bad human behaviour as one of the causes of suffering, injustice, crimes and other crises in Africa.

He said, "there is need for all Africans to live in harmony and unite but any time concerted efforts are used to resolve crises in a conflict zone new cases emerge".

Hon Tombong Jatta described the cases of Sierra Leone and Liberia as successfully resolved and called on Africans to exercise peace and democracy.

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Ninth PAP Ordinary Session Underway in Johannesburg

The 9th ordinary session of the Pan- African Parliament kicked off on Monday in South Africa.

The session, which attracted about 225 parliamentarians across the African continent, will mark the beginning of the 5th year of existence of the Pan African Parliament.

 In her opening address, the president of the Pan African Parliament, Dr Gertrude Mangella, a Tanzanian, said since the last session a number of activities and missions have been carried out by the members of the bureau, parliamentarians and Staff members of the Bureau, this includes election observer missions in Kenya and Zimbabwe.

She said the election observer mission reports will be tabled for the first time for debate during the sitting. Dr Mangella added that PAP budget for 2008 amounts to 12.7 million dollars.

She highlighted that after operating for five years, between now and 2009, PAP must carry out an assessment of Article 25 of the protocol, make recommendations to the process of reviewing the protocol. The protocol made provisions that after five years of existence, the Pan African Parliament will be transform in to a legislative body.

The two-week session will dilate on the peace and security in Africa, reports on election observer missions to Kenya and Zimbabwe, food crises in Africa and reports of the Audit of the organs of the AU by a panel of eminent persons from PAP.

Reports of the permanent committees and celebration of the Ethiopian millennium will also be treated as part of the agenda.

The Pan African Parliament is its at it transformative stage from an advisory and consultative organ into a fully fledged legislative organ of the AU.

The biannual event also witnessed the swearing in of 30 new members from national parliaments.

 In another development, the Cameroonian committee in South Africa is calling for a total rejection of the amendment of the Cameroon constitution. This allows President Paul Biya to continue as president for life after being in power for 45 years.

They made this call during a peaceful demonstration held outside the gate of the Pan African Parliament Conference Hall Monday morning.

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African's Conflicts could be Lessened- Hon El Hadj Diao Kante

Hon El Hadj Diao Kante, Chairman of the Committee on cooperation, International Peace and resolutions has said that respecting the principles of good governance, resolutions and agreements by governments of Africa will lessen African conflicts.

"African governments should operate in a democratic manner in order to achieve the objectives of the AU and the eradication of conflicts in our territory", he pointed out.

He made these remarks during a press briefing as part of the second sitting of the ninth ordinary session of the Pan African Parliament.

Addressing Journalists, Mr. Kanteh highlighted the fact that Ethiopia is a major threat to peace in Somalia.

He said the African Union is facing problems to cover 8,000 troops in Somalia. Instead they are able to gather only 2,000 troops who are currently on a peace mission in Somalia. He added that in fact the Union is currently faced with financial problems to sustain these troops.

Commenting on the major crises in Africa, he said conflicts, nutrition and human rights are other emerging problems on the continent.

The Guinean Parliamentarian was quick to add that among the crises in Africa, Cote d'Ivoire is the most favorable situation and is in a position to organise elections.

He said a draft resolution, including the list of the major causes of conflict in Africa, is already being prepared by his committee and the recommendations will be sent by PAP to the next summit of heads of states.

He called on every one to be on board in trying to resolve Africa's crises.

 Hon. Conteh added that, "PAP is a consultative organ but when the transformation into a legislative body has been done, it can pass laws which will be applicable by member states.

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Major Concerns Raised by Parliamentarians on Crises in Africa

Parliamentarians at the 9th ordinary session of the Pan African Parliament have raised major concerns relating to the issues affecting peace and prosperity in Africa.

One of the Parliamentarians who talked tough on Africans crises was Hon. Eugene Kpakka from Liberia. In his remarks he said Africa has lost the key to peace and prosperity. And in order to solve the crises faced by the continent, it required African's intervention.

He said, "African problems require African solutions. And taking Africa's problems to different areas for resolution will yield nothing". He noted that the solution to Africa's problems is in Africa and that the Pan African Parliament should take note of that in finding solutions to Africa's crises.

He said one of the leading problems faced by Africa is power struggles. He said African leader's failure to hand over power at the end of the term is a major problem. He called on the need for African leaders to come forward and work for the best interest of the Africa

Honourable Mary Mugyengy of Uganda, in her deliberation, said conflict eradication should be the number one agenda of the Pan- African Parliament and this could be done by clearly stipulating guided rules for member states by the Pan - African Parliament.

Also speaking was Ethiopia 's Hon Anab Abdulkadir. He said Somalia has been bleeding for 19 years and is yet to find a solution to their crises. He said it is the responsibility of the Arab league and other organisations to save Somalia.

"Africa has no shortage of resources to solve the crises in Africa. I am urging the Pan African Parliament to include Somalia 's case as part of their agenda"' he said.

Other members who spoke included Honorable Farah Ismale Hussein, Honorable Edward Ndawula Kaweesi and Angelo Beda.

Author: Sainabou Kujabi reporting from Sourth Africa