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African Union: Egypt-Africa facing great challenges; terrorism, Libya crisis

February 10, 2020 at 3:44 am

A view from opening session of the 33rd African Union Heads of State Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 9 February 2020 [Mınasse Wondımu Haılu/Anadolu Agency]

At the African Union (AU) summit today, in Addis Ababa, Chairman of the (AU) Commission, Moussa Faki, emphasised the “necessity of a political solution in Libya.”

Faki called on the United States to “remove Sudan from the list of terrorism.”

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi stressed that the main challenges that the continent is facing are the continuation of conflicts and the increase of the risks of terrorism and extremism.

In his speech, Al-Sisi said that the overall development efforts in Africa would not take place without the modernisation of the infrastructure, stressing Egypt’s efforts to assume its responsibilities during its chairmanship of the African Union, according to “”

Al-Sisi added: “We are aware of the value of our security and our rights and preserving the capabilities of our people.” He clarified that Egypt would continue its role in supporting the African Union, solving the continent’s problems and activating all cooperation initiatives between its countries.

Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the Arab League, stressed that Libya is enduring a serious escalation of the crisis, after more than ten months following the outbreak of hostilities around Tripoli and the multiple manifestations of blatant and open foreign military intervention.

Gheit said that the Arab League, in partnership with the African Union, can get the country out of its crisis and support the inclusive national reconciliation process. He called for stabilising the existing truce, accessing to permanent arrangements for a ceasefire and monitoring it, in addition to the cessation of all external interference in the Libyan matter.

Gheit called for the implementation of the agreed security, political and economic paths in the Berlin Conference, by the general terms of reference for the Skhirat Agreement and within the framework of the leadership role supervised by the United Nations.

He added that the overall development process could not be launched in isolation. Rather from laying the foundations of security and stability in the African continent must be done first. Gheit called for greater joint action to address security challenges and the roots of political crises that destabilise our countries and disrupt sustainable development plans in our region.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “Combating terrorism in Africa is an essential condition for achieving sustainable development,” adding that the international partnership with Africa is very important.

Read: Sudan asks UN to deploy peacekeeping mission

Silencing guns and creating conditions for development in Africa

 The 33rd Ordinary African Union Summit was launched on Sunday under the slogan “silencing guns and creating conditions for development in Africa.”

Faki stressed that “the African continent desperately needs freedom,” noting that “tensions in the African continent affect the member states.”

On the Middle East file, Faki added: “We fear that the American plan will not contribute to resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”

On the Coronavirus, the Chairman of the Commission expressed “the solidarity of the African continent with China.”

Faki also expressed “concern that young people are turning towards extremism.”

During the opening session, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi handed over the Presidency of the Union to Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s president.

The summit is held this year with wide African and international participation and focuses on many issues, most notably the “silencing guns” initiative in Africa, and creating conditions for development, in addition to terrorism, the Libyan crisis and infrastructure development in Africa.

During a meeting of the African Peace and Security Council, and just before the African summit in Addis Ababa, Guterres said that the Libyan war contributed to the arrival of terrorist groups and the spread of weapons.