To Foreign Ministers of African Union member states: We, the undersigned African civil society organisations and international organisations with a presence in Africa, working on human rights and international criminal justice, are pleased to congratulate the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union (AU), on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary. We commend the Organisation for its key achievements during the past 50 years and to express our continued commitment in working with the AU towards promoting and protecting human rights, peace, and justice on the Continent. In this regard, we wish to take this occasion to applaud the AU and the African continent for:
The French military intervention in January and February this year ended the occupation of northern Mali by rebel movements and jihadists. When I was in Bamako at the end of February, organisations across the political spectrum applauded France as Mali’s saviour and liberator. There had been a grave danger that the jihadists would seize Bamako, thereby seize the state, and turn the country into a fundamentalist political entity. A Muslim leader said to us: ‘France saved Mali, saved our way of life, saved Islam itself’.
Abuja: I read the article titled ‘Decline of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy’, published in The Guardian of May 6, 2013 by Dr. Adekeye Adebajo, Executive Director for Conflict Resolution, Cape Town, South Africa. He obviously did not do the basic research to capture activities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the last two years, before writing his article. It is curious that a ‘scholar’ could write an article on Foreign Policy and deliberately dish out false information to the wider public, for self aggrandisement. It is, therefore, appropriate to write this article to put the record straight and not allow the dissemination of falsehood, based on intellectual laziness or plain mischief, to triumph over truth.
Abuja: AmeduOgbole Ode, Acting Director/Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in this concluding part of the discourse, argues that Nigeria has made considerable strides in its foreign relations which are worthty of commendation: Such high level meetings have attracted considerable investment portfolios to the country. Dr. Adebajo, in his article, failed to highlight the gains of our economic diplomacy which the Jonathan Administration has given renewed vigour in the last two years.
London: As we all know, Africa has passed through a difficult and gruesome history associated with slavery, colonial subjugation and racial discrimination. Successive generations of Africans paid the ultimate sacrifice in the struggle against all forms of injustice and subjugation so as to restore the freedom and dignity of peoples of Africa. In this painstaking struggle, Ethiopia feels enormously proud, as the only country that has never been colonized, to have served as a beacon of hope for other African brothers and sisters that were fighting to liberate themselves from the yoke of subjugation and other forms of oppression.
New York: An “arc of instability” was stretching across Africa’s Sahara and Sahel region, and if left unchecked, it could transform the continent into a breeding ground for extremists and a launch pad for larger-scale terrorist attacks around the world, delegates in the Security Council stressed today during a high-level debate on combating that growing scourge across the region. In a presidential statement, the Council expressed its deep concern with the increasing violence perpetrated by armed groups, whose numbers were growing in several regions and subregions of Africa, where porous borders, illegal arms trafficking and difficult socioeconomic situations had made it difficult to effectively combat terrorism.
Lagos: As the continental leaders under the banner of the African Union prepare for their summit in Addis Ababa later this month, there has been no pre summit preoccupation by contact groups, the national units of countries as well as the AU commission itself on what can be likened to be a sensible African response to the shame in Central African Republic. Two months after renegades truncated yet another African democratic government in CAR, that country continues to slide towards possible anarchy in the absence of an African Union intervention. And yet a sensible AU intervention beyond condemnations and imposition of ineffective sanctions is the most potent panacea to the political crisis in that country. Landlocked, CAR - a country of some 4.2 million people itself - is surrounded by unstable countries including Chad, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Midrand: I strongly believe that the vision of the African Union can only be realized with the full participation of its peoples. It is the people who give legitimacy to governments, to the institutions as well as the vision of the future that Africa aspires to attain; hence, the important role of the Pan-African Parliament. To play its rightful role, PAP must be stronger, offering a greater voice to the people of Africa through universal suffrage, capable of promoting the enactment of relevant policies and laws necessary for growth and development both at the national and continental levels and play an oversight role. Allow me at this juncture to point to some of the areas where I believe the Pan African Parliament can support the deepening of our commonly shared values on the continent.
The Centre for Conflict Resolution and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung hosted a colloquium in Berlin, from 30 to 31 August 2012, on “The African Union at Ten: Aspirations and Reality”. The year 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of post-independence pan-Africanism with the birth of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in May 1963. As the golden jubilee is celebrated, this report reflects on the hopes for an “African Renaissance” embodied by the continental body’s successor, the African Union (AU), and the challenges that it faces in fulfilling its role of promoting political unity, democratic governance, and economic development on the continent.
Harare: The theme of this gathering - “The Nexus Between Africa’s Natural Resources, Development and Security” - is both relevant and timely. The interrelationship between natural resources, security and development has manifested itself in different ways over the past years. Sovereignty over natural resources is an inalienable right of states and their peoples and, as such, must be harnessed in the interest of national development. It is an undeniable fact that these resources, if properly used, can contribute to making the 21st century Africa’s Century, especially given that our our continent is on the rise.