Intervention by H.E. Ambassador Araia Desta,
Head of Delegation on the ‘Report of the Peace and Security Council on its Activities and the State of Peace and Security in Africa’
at the 28th Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union
31 January 2017, Addis Ababa
Allow me, at the outset, to convey to you and this august Assembly the warm greetings of your brother H.E. Mr. Isaias Afwerki, President of the State of Eritrea.
I also wish to join previous speakers in extending my Delegation’s gratitude to H.E. Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, President of Sierra Leone/Current Chairperson of the Peace and Security Council, and H.E. Ambassador Smail Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the AUC for presenting the Report.
My Delegation is cognizant of the magnitude of the peace and security challenges facing our continent as well as the ambitious but achievable vision of creating an integrated, peaceful, and prosperous Africa.
I wish to intervene on a few issues contained in the Report.
As reflected in the Report, sadly the scourge of terrorism continues to wreak havoc in our continent. While there are several underlying causes to the phenomena, the recent proliferation of terrorism in Africa came in the wake of regime-change exercises by external powers resulting in State failures. This behooves us to cooperate for the restoration of the Statehood of the affected countries, and resist the recurrence of such destructive interventions.
The need for strengthening cooperation and enhancing the capabilities of States and relevant regional and international organizations to combat terrorism cannot be overemphasized. It is also imperative to get rid of unjustified restrictions imposed on some States that could undermine their capabilities to fight the scourge.
In this regard, it is worth noting the recommendations of the 11th Meeting of the Focal Point Representatives of the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT), that was held in Algiers from 14-16 December 2016. The meeting expressed concern “[o]n the matter of sanctions debilitating the efforts of some AU Member States to fight terrorism [and] recommended that the AUC initiate discussions with the relevant UN and International bodies to review the situation in the light of the escalation of Terrorism and Violent Extremism situations globally.” My Delegation calls upon the AUC to work for the implementation of this recommendation.
The Report alludes to the cooperation provided by the AUC to member states for delimitation and demarcation exercises. My delegation appreciates this endeavor and wishes to emphasize that it is equally important to enforce the Peace Agreements as well as delimitation and demarcation Decisions that the African Union has committed to guarantee. Failure to do so will continue to deny our Peoples the opportunity for peaceful coexistence and cooperation.
The goal of ‘Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020’ necessitates, inter alia, addressing the root causes of violent conflicts, peaceful resolution of disputes and enforcement of arbitration decisions. This in turn requires the reinvigoration of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), and most importantly the PSC. In this vein, my Delegation strongly supports the reform proposals included in the report of the H.E. President Paul Kagame and adopted by the Assembly.
In conclusion, I wish to use this opportunity to reaffirm Eritrea’s commitment to contribute its share for the promotion of peace and security and cooperation in the Horn of Africa and Red Sea Region, and across the African continent.