UN CHIEF HAILS WIND OF PEACE BLOWING IN AFRICA AS ETHIOPIA, ERITRTEA DECLARE END TO CONFLICT

ADDIS ABABA-- The recent developments in Africa indicate that the continent is increasingly moving in the direction of peace and enhanced security, says United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Speaking to journalists in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Monday where he is attending the second annual UN-African Union (AU) conference, Guterres hailed the historic visit by the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, to Eritrea on Sunday and the stunning declaration by him and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki that their 20-year conflict is ended.

We feel a wind blowing in the direction of peace, said Guterres when addressing the conference, referring to recent developments such as the Ethiopia-Eritrea development, as well as peace talks on South Sudan, where conflict has raged since 2013.

All this gives us hope that the African continent will be moving more and more in the right direction in peace and security, he added, telling delegates that the UN could not afford to fail in its dealings with the continent.

However, the UN chief also focused on what he described as the dramatic crises in Africa, where the UN has deployed peacekeeping missions in four countries -- the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mali and South Sudan.

He said the rise of armed groups and international terrorist organizations such as Boko Haram, means that these operations are not involved in traditional peacekeeping, and he cited the need for more funding, particularly in enforcing peace and countering terrorism.

We need to understand that when African troops are fighting terrorists in the Sahel, they are not only protecting the citizens of the Sahel. They are protecting the whole world. And the world must be in solidarity with Africa, as African forces are protecting us all, he stated.

The Secretary-General also called for greater support for the UN's Agenda 2030 and African Union's Agenda 2063, both of which address long-term economic development. He appealed to the international community to take action against the flow of illegal funds, money-laundering and tax evasion, which cost Africa 50 billion US dollars every year.

This is a responsibility for the international community to support Africa to make sure that African resources remain in Africa to support African development.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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