By Addis Getachew
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security Council Smail Chergui has called on the international community to support strengthening the continent’s peace and security architecture.
Chergui’s remarks came at the opening in the Ethiopian capital on Thursday of a two-day security meeting convened for the first time in Africa by the Munich Security Conference, a 50-year-old major international think-tank.
The meeting brings together eminent figures, the conference’s core group, thinkers from the Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa, experts in the field of peace, security and development, government officials, and civil society representatives, among others.
Chergui said, “The international community should provide support for strengthening the African peace and security architecture.”
According to him, 80 percent of all global peacekeepers have been deployed in Africa.
“Africa has been ready to deploy peacekeepers at short notice and to dangerous situations... and to where the UN would not consider suitable or the mission would require combat operations against terrorism,” he said.
The meeting is set to deal with the joint fight against violent extremism, crisis prevention and management, and security risks posed by epidemics and climate change with a focus on Eastern and Northern Africa.
“Violent extremism is on the rise in many key regions in Africa,” said Munich Security Conference Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger.
“Much of the world tends to look at Africa as a continent of crises. But it is so much more than that,” he added.
“[Africa] is a continent also of growth, rapid change, and opportunity,” he said. “African countries will be home to some of the most dynamic societies in the world if they succeed in providing their growing youth population with promising perspectives.”
He added: “But if they fail, impoverishment, radicalization and increased migration are only some of the potential consequences – with destabilizing effects beyond the African continent.”
This is the first time the conference has convened on African soil in its half-century existence, leading to suspicion by some that the European think-tank came to Africa to look for ways to mitigate the current refugee crisis in Europe.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.