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African leaders urged to use borders as strong bridges

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

June 8, 2011(ADDIS ABABA) - The African Union (AU) on Tuesday celebrated the first “African Border Day” at the AU headquarters, in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital calling on African countries to use the continent’s borders to promote peace, stability and economic prosperity.

The day celebrated under a theme “uniting and integrating Africa through peaceful, open and prosperous borders” is a way of popularising the AU Border Programme (AUBP) and mobilising the requisite support for the efforts to promote peaceful and prosperous borders in Africa.

In his opening remarks, commissioner Lamamra stressed the commitment of the African countries to transform their borders from barriers into bridges, as a way of addressing the legacy of conflict arising from the inherited colonial boundaries.

“African leaders were convinced that by transcending the borders as barriers and promoting them as bridges linking one State to another, Africa can boost the ongoing efforts to integrate the continent, strengthen its unity and promote peace, security and stability through the structural prevention of conflicts”, said Ambassador Lamamra.

He further stated that the decision to prioritise the delimitation and demarcation of the inherited borders was not predicated on a desire to confine each country within its own designated territory:

“On the contrary, it means that border delimitation and demarcation is a condition for successful integration. A non-defined border is susceptible to being a source of contention, and even conflict. Border delimitation and demarcation, in a way, removes its potential nuisance; it opens the door rather than closes it; it allows for a healthy process of cooperation and integration”.

African Border Day was recommended by the second meeting of the African Ministers in charge of Border Issues, held in Addis Ababa, on 25 March 2010 with a strategy to enhance African unity through political and economic integration.

The day conveyed a strong message that border issues which remain to be continent’s source of bloodshed could be resolved peacefully if borders are used to serve as bridges and not as barriers.

Africa aims to foster sustainable peace, mutual coexistence and development on the continent by managing and self-demarcating continent’s borders, which were established arbitrarily by colonial powers.

The day was marked amid border dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea also North Sudan and South Sudan conflict in Abyei region among others remain unsettled raising fears of a return to war.

(ST)

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  • 9 June 2011 07:13, by Emmanuel Ajang Solomon

    Ambassoder,we have big problem in Sudan regarding the border
    I think it will go out of hand soon before december or January next year, but if it is well address now that will be good to save many life from the 2 countries as U witness.

    We are really, very worried about our situation in the next coming moth, because of what Khartoum will do to the whole country as he had already started in Kordufan,Blue, Nile,South Sudan,in Abyei,Raja,Darfur areas.

    The NCP is doing what most of U will not belive at the end of this month, and he is now doing things in secret so that no body can question him as of now.

    repondre message

    • 9 June 2011 07:57, by dengtaath

      African is the only continent that has remained behind in realization that free movement allows economic growth. As nations visit one another, it makes trade flow freely. A restricted border would be hard for travel as already experienced by the continent. Africa is poor in all forms, economically, and politically. This call is vaible only when the poor head of states change their poor attitudes upon how they run the continent, it sound beautiful but who will implement that? Shame on Africa

      repondre message

    • 9 June 2011 08:41, by OMONI_JR

      What is Africa Union?
      Where is Somalia Located in the world? Is not Africa?
      And why somalia civilians are dying every day in their land?
      And where is so called AU?
      And sudanese had/have been suffering for almost 60 years update.
      Do not make or create political celebration in order to fill your big ugly stomachs in name of "fake untied Africa"
      That is why European Union undermine AU because it is always supporting the murderers like Al Bashir and many others.

      repondre message

  • 9 June 2011 08:27, by Aleu

    Kenyan are not like these stupid people in North Sudan.

    Foe Abyei region, we Southern Sudanese have not yet answering what North Sudan Army did. Our Southern Sudan independence is more important for now and we will see this case shortly.

    repondre message

  • 9 June 2011 08:47, by Ariambek

    Dear readers,

    The idea is good but it will be effective unless my Africa continent reverse mentality from Powers greedy, Corruption, Nepotism, Negligence and among others. Likewise Africa leaders proud to have conferences, peace a talks, forums, delegations and many other functions as ways of earning money but to implementing all these, is disgrace e.g. Sudan.

    Dr.Ariambek

    repondre message

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