RealNews

Conflict in the Spotlight at AU summit

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan spearheaded calls for peace on the continent at the opening of an African Union (AU) summit in Maputo Thursday, but warned that a rocky road lay ahead. Annan said the continent needed political will to achieve stability, while outgoing AU chairman Thabo Mbeki told the heads of state to invest more time and resources in the development of Africa. “The United Nations and the rest of the international community can appoint envoys, urge negotiations and spend billions of dollars on peacekeeping missions — but none of this will solve conflicts if the political will and capacity do not exist in Africa,” Annan said. The three-day summit is expected to discuss some 10 conflicts and regards the establishment of a Peace and Security Council to tackle crimes against humanity, as high priority. The event kicked off with Mbeki announcing that Madagascar, barred from the AU inauguration summit last year because of doubts over the legitimacy of its president, had been readmitted. Full Story

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