AU leaders seek to “silence the guns”, advance African Continental Free Trade Area

EYEAFRICA TV: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: African Union leaders met in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia on Sunday for their annual meeting to seek to end violence in the continent and advance the construction of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU was held under the theme of “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development.”

At the inaugural session, Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairman of the African Union Commission, said the summit aims to end wars, civil conflicts and gender-based violence in Africa so as to achieve peace and thus promote better development in Africa.

“Silencing the Guns” is a commitment to achieve the Aspirations of Africa’s Agenda 2063, specifically Aspiration 4, which envisions a peaceful and secure Africa, thereby making peace a reality for African people.

“We should find various solutions to tackle with the trigger and root causes of conflicts by political, military and diplomatic means, to silence the weapons,” said Mahamat.

Mahamat noted that the successful mediation of the Sudan issue in 2019 shows that with the support of the international community, Africans are fully capable of solving their own problems independently. On the Libyan issue, he stressed that Africa is willing to resolve the crisis through political negotiations without external interference.

“We hope that based on the principle of ‘African Solutions to African Problems’, we can keep away from external interference, from rival and perilous agendas for Africa,” he said.

The construction of the AfCFTA is another hot topic of the two-day leaders summit. Mahamat stressed that infrastructure construction and agreements on the free movement of people and goods are currently the main factors hindering the construction of the free trade area.

In addition, the chairman expressed support to the Chinese people who are combating the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak since mid-December.

“At this moment, we want to share the pain of our Chinese friends who are fighting the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic. We are united with them,” said Mahamat.

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