Uhuru rallies AU to stem rise in political insecurity
President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday rallied the African Union (AU) to end the increasing cases of political instability and insecurity on the continent.
Uhuru said the deteriorating situation was undermining the continent’s socio-economic progress.
“As you note Excellencies, 2021 was marked by a spread of terrorism and violent extremism and the resurgence of unconstitutional change of Government across the continent. This is a worrying trend that needs to be arrested and dealt with decisively,” he said.
Uhuru added; “We need to take bold steps to address issues of terrorism and violent extremism and to undertake in depth review of our existing instruments in order to address the resurgence of unconstitutional changes of Government.
The President spoke in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia when he delivered the progress report of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU-Peace and Security Council (PSC) at the ongoing 35th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU.
Despite the restrictions imposed by Covid-19, President Kenyatta said the AU-PSC had continued to discharge its mandate noting that the entity had held 85 virtual meetings in 2021, and addressed concerns in Burundi, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Guinea, Libya, Mali/Sahel, South Sudan, Sudan, Western Sahara, Somalia and Comoros.
On the conflict in Western Sahara, Uhuru decried the escalating military tension between the Kingdom of Morocco and Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) despite the various United Nations and AU resolutions.
“In this regard, the assembly may wish to request the PSC to discharge its mandate on the conflict in Western Sahara, in accordance with the relevant provisions of its protocol and by reviewing the situation in the Western Sahara as necessary, at Heads of State and Government level.
Earlier, President Kenyatta, who arrived in the Ethiopian capital on Saturday morning, witnessed the transfer of the African Union’s chairmanship from President Felix Tshisekedi of DR Congo to his Senegalese counterpart Macky Sall during the opening ceremony of the two-day summit.
In their speeches, leaders who spoke at the opening ceremony, among them UN Secretary General António Guterres and Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed paid glowing tribute to past AU chairpersons Cyril Ramaphosa (South Africa) and Felix Tshisekedi (DR Congo) for outstanding stewardship of the pan-African institution.
Abiy applauded Ramaphosa for AU’s response to Covid saying he had provided “exemplary leadership in a collective response to the challenges of the pandemic”.