U.N. chief lauds recent developments towards peace in Africa

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UN Secretary-General António Guterres (right) addresses a peace and security in Africa session at the Second Annual AU-UN Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He is flanked by AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres (right) addresses a peace and security in Africa session at the Second Annual AU-UN Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He is flanked by AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat.

The United Nations has lauded recent developments in Africa aimed at realizing peace in various countries that have been dogged by conflict for years.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres expressed the agency’s satisfaction with the developments in a visit to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, where he went to take part in the second annual UN-African Union conference.

“We feel a wind blowing in the direction of peace,” he said, referring to recent developments such as the historic visit by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister to rival and neighbour Eritrea, as well as peace talks on South Sudan, where conflict has raged since 2013.

“All this gives us hope that the African continent will be moving more and more in the right direction in peace and security,” he added, telling delegates that the UN could not afford to fail in its dealings with the continent.

The UN chief however also took the opportunity to highlight the need for the international community to commit to funding the various peacekeeping missions in the continent, including the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mali and South Sudan.

He said the rise of armed groups and international terrorist organizations such as Boko Haram, means that these operations are not involved in “traditional” peacekeeping, and he cited the need for more funding, particularly in enforcing peace and countering terrorism.

“We need to understand that when African troops are fighting terrorists in the Sahel, they are not only protecting the citizens of the Sahel. They are protecting the whole world. And the world must be in solidarity with Africa, as African forces are protecting us all,” he stated.

Guterres also called for greater support for the UN’s Agenda 2030 and African Union’s Agenda 2063, both of which address long-term economic development.

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