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African Union Summit in focus

Jan 29, 2013, 9:48 AM

The political crisis in Mali, the unrest in Egypt, the situation between the two Sudans and the upsurge of threats to peace and security in other parts of the continent are the issues that overshadowed the 20th African Union summit, which got underway in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Sunday.

According to reports, about 37 African leaders, government representatives and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon are in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the two-day summit conference which focused on the theme: “Pan Africanism and African Renaissance.”

Regarding the theme of the summit, it is no doubt relevant and fitting, but it has been overshadowed by security issues due to the present day realities on the continent.

Unity could be the best way to harmonise our efforts and work on a common agenda of development. African leaders must now realise that unifying the continent would give it more strength, and promotes economic growth.

It is sad that the efforts towards uniting the continent are being confronted with serious impediments, such as the political unrest in several African states.

We have said it in this and other columns, that there is a great need for Africans to unite and be each other’s brother’s keeper.

African leaders, particularly, must remain united in tackling the Malian crisis.

It was most heartening at the AU summit this week to hear UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon hail Africa’s economic progress.

This is paramount, and we call on African leaders to maintain this progress.

Ban Ki Moon also expressed his concern over the volatile situation in some areas of the continent, and proposed a mechanism to solve the problems.

Of major concern to him was the need for the two Sudans to resume direct talks and he spoke of the “dangerous humanitarian situation in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states.”

These are other issues that require the attention of Africans, especially our leaders, who must continue to advocate for a peaceful resolution of the conflicts in our continent.

A tragedy of unprecedented proportions is unfolding in Africa”
Nelson Mandela