AU Summit To Focus On CAR, S Sudan

Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom
Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom

Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom says the conflicts in the Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan are top of the agenda for African leaders, as they meet for a summit of the African Union.

Adhanom, who is currently the chairperson of the executive council of the African Union, made the remarks while speaking at a ministerial-level meeting in Addis Ababa on Monday.

The foreign minister also stated that the situation in CAR and South Sudan has indeed been very alarming and that there is no justification for the conflicts in both countries to continue even for a day.

“The fact that these humanitarian tragedies are unfolding in the two countries at a time when we are talking about ‘African renaissance’ must be painful to all of us,” Adhanom stated.

“Unless we find (an) urgent solution, the situation in these two countries will have serious implications for peace and security in the region, and indeed the whole continent.”

Adhanom reiterated calls for both South Sudanese government and former Vice President Riek Machar to fully implement the recently signed ceasefire deal and to continue to cooperate, without any preconditions, with mediators from Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to address the root causes of the crisis.

On January 23, South Sudan and the rebels signed a ceasefire agreement to end weeks of heavy fighting which led to the death of thousands of people and forced over 800,000 from their homes in the world’s youngest nation.

Elsewhere in the speech, Adhanom commented on the situation in CAR. He underlined the need to take urgent action to prevent further escalation of the situation in the country.

“The situation in Central African Republic remains a matter of concern particularly the senseless violence that has taken a heavy toll on the civilian population.”

The Central African Republic spiraled into chaos in March 2013 after armed groups launched coordinated attacks on the mostly Muslim Seleka group.

Since last December, over 2,000 people have reportedly been killed and about a million others have fled the violence in the country.

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