The African Union summit has tackled conflicts in the continent by dealing with troubled spots decisively, President Mnangagwa said yesterday when calling on African states who have yet to do so to accede to the Free Trade Area Protocol to speed up the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The summit adopted recommendations from its subcommittee, the Peace and Security Council chaired by South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, for enhanced dialogue between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda to end conflict in Eastern DRC that has seen the displacement of thousands of families.
Speaking in an interview with Zimbabwean journalists at the summit, which ended yesterday, President Mnangagwa said: “The major security concern was the current dispute in eastern DRC where there has been disturbances and trading of accusations between DRC and Rwanda.
“The committee on Peace and Security Council met first and later presented a report to the assembly. The recommendation was that the parties involved, that is DRC and Rwanda through their leaders, must pursue dialogue and consultations,” said President Mnangagwa.
Countries in the Great Lakes Region accepted that the principle of putting dialogue was a major instrument to secure and guarantee peace.
The assembly also applauded the role played by Angolan President Joao Lourenco in trying to end the conflict.
“The two countries were urged to pursue dialogue for the purpose of peace, security and harmony and to end the suffering of people. We believe that, since the assembly endorsed that recommendation, we are of the view that the two countries will abide by that recommendation,” he said
It was noted that the conflict had gone for a long time and the AU summit felt there was need to clearly spell out the mandate of each group in the conflict such as the United Nations Organisation Mission in DRC (MONUC) with the Assembly agreeing on a roadmap.
“We believe with goodwill on both sides there is a possibility of security and peace in eastern DRC,” said President Mnangagwa.
The DRC has continued to be mired in conflict despite establishment of elected governments. The eastern region has been experiencing high insecurity and violence spawned by M23 rebels in an armed conflict in North Kivu Province.
The group has seized swathes of territory in North Kivu and has come near the regional hub of Goma prompting hundreds of thousand people to flee their homes.
President Mnangagwa said another area that came up for discussion was disturbances in Mozambique by Islamic insurgency in Cabo Delgado but the issue was left to Sadc which was already seized with it.
“The Assembly felt that Sadc has the primary role to deal with that issue and as Sadc we are ready to continue doing our best to support Mozambique,” he said.
Published on: All Africa
Publication date: 20.02.2023