Home | News    Monday 5 July 2004

AU Commission delineates hotbeds in Africa

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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, July 05, 2004 (PANA) — Southern and western Sudan,
Somalia, the Comoros, Burundi, DR Congo, Central African Republic
(CAR), Sao Tome and Principe, Equatorial Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire,
Liberia, Guinea-Bissau and Eritrea/Ethiopia have been identified
by the Commission of the African Union as conflict resolution
priorities in the bid for continental stability.

In his report to the 5th ordinary session of the executive
council of the African Union (AU), which convened here 30 June to
3 July, the Commission chairperson Alpha Konare acknowledged that
since the last session in this year, considerable progress has
been achieved in the resolution of conflicts in some parts of the
continent.

This, he said, was particularly the case with the crisis in the
Comoros, and the conflict in southern Sudan where the Khartoum
government and the rebel Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement/Army
(SPLM/A) have signed a decisive peace deal with prospects for a
comprehensive agreement to end the 21-year old conflict.

"In Burundi, a UN peace-keeping operation has taken over from the
African Mission, thereby boosting the chances of successful
conclusion of the process initiated in that country since the
signing of the 28 August 2000 Arusha (Tanzania) ceasefire
agreement," Konare said in the report.

"In general terms, the situation in the continent remains mixed.
The progress achieved has remained fragile with the likelihood of
fresh crisis erupting at any time. Darfur (western Sudan) is an
eloquent illustration of this state of affairs," the AU
Commission chairperson pointed out.

He said a lot of difficulties came to the fore in the DR Congo
crisis during the period under review, after a number of
developments slowed down the peace process. In Cote d’Ivoire, the
situation similarly remains worrying, with the reconciliation
process deadlocked since March this year.

Concerning the Comoros, Konare said the AU would continue to
support the parties in the archipelago as they strive for lasting
peace and national reconciliation.

He said the AU, in collaboration with the international community
will organise a donors roundtable in Mauritius to mobilise the
requisite resources for the social and economic recovery of the
Comoros.

As for the situation in Somalia where a central government has
been lacking since 1991, the report said a Peace and Security
Council meeting held in Addis Ababa last 25 May underscored the
importance of respecting the 31 July 2004 deadline for the
conclusion of the ongoing national reconciliation conference in
Mbagathi near Nairobi, Kenya.

The report further noted a sharp deterioration in relations
between Ethiopia and Eritrea, which have been at loggerheads over
the border between them, ever since Eritrea broke away as a
separate sovereign entity.

It also observed that the situation in CAR was still very
fragile, hence the need to intensify and coordinate efforts to
enhance the return of peace and security in the country.

Some progress was noted in Sao Tome and Principe, relative calm
observed in Equatorial Guinea, while the violation of human
rights continued to hold sway in Cote d’Ivoire.

The report noted that Liberia was picking up from its rubbles,
thanks to compliance with a ceasefire agreement in the capital
Monrovia and most parts of the country.

In Guinea-Bissau, a consensus reached political parties has
restored appreciable calm, the report noted, acknowledging that
the people there demonstrated their capacity to build credible
and democratic institutions.

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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