By Ekemini Ladejobi
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has called for the full implementation of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), especially the African Standby Force (ASF) and the Peace Fund.
Osinbajo, made the call in his capacity as the Chairperson of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) for the month of July, while reporting on the council’s activities and the state of peace and security in Africa.
He reiterated the need for the PSC to work towards removing all distractions and impediments to the full attainment of operational capacity of the AFS.
“To ensure the effectiveness of the African Union peace support operations, the Regional Economic Communities and relevant international bodies, especially the United Nations must remain strategic pillars of peace, security and development of the Continent as envisioned in Agenda 2063.
“We must redouble our efforts and without equivocation, avail the necessary resources in order to successfully achieve the goals set out in Agenda 2063.
“We need to rekindle our political will and determination not to bequeath to the next generation of Africans the burden of wars, poverty and misery.”
Osinbajo said It was therefore necessary for the Assembly to reaffirm the overriding importance of holistically addressing the root causes of violent conflicts in our countries.
He said that it was only through such collective efforts that the noble goal of silencing the guns in Africa can be achieved.
He explained further that It was also essential that the international communities including the UN continue to reinforce their support for Africa peace and security agenda such as the complementarity between Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The tragic consequences of wars and conflicts in Africa are self-evident.
“The millions killed and maimed, the millions displaced, children out- of- school, set us back decades economically and socially.
“Our resolve to end wars and conflicts in Africa is therefore our vote for a future of real growth and development for our continent.”
He said under Nigeria’s chairmanship of the PSC, the Council would prioritise the adoption of practical measures to address the current security challenges in South Sudan, Somalia, Guinea Bissau, the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin regions.
“Furthermore, Nigeria will strengthen the engagement with all AU Member States in confronting the menace of child soldiering and millions of out-of-school children in armed conflict areas.
“To this effect, I would like to urge your full support and cooperation in this endeavour, ” Osinbajo said.