By Isiaka Wakili
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that terrorism and violent extremism present fresh problems to Africa.
The vice president listed other problems such as large numbers of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees across the borders of neighbouring countries.
He spoke in Abuja yesterday at the opening of a retreat for members of the African Union Peace and Security Council and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) focusing on the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa.
According to him, presently, almost on a monthly basis there is a fresh conflict situation or a relapse of post-conflict situations. Besides, he said at the same time terrorism and violent extremism present fresh problems, including large numbers of internally displaced persons and refugees going across the borders of neighbouring countries.
The vice president commended the Peace and Security Council for providing the continent with an effective mechanism and tool for conflict management.
He said the achievements of the council in its 11 years of existence had set it out as an outstanding best practice worthy of emulation by other regions in the world.
Osinbajo said the council had been AU’s lead response agency in tackling numerous conflicts and other security challenges in all respects, ranging from political crisis, armed conflicts to humanitarian crisis as exemplified in the Council’s handling of the recent Ebola Virus Disease in some countries.
He stressed the need for synergy between Regional Economic Communities and the Peace Security Council (PSC), an organ of the African Union (AU), saying the importance of the two having stronger coordination and synergy of functions can never be over-emphasised.
He reminded participants to focus on how the PSC and the RECs could enhance effectiveness and efficiency using their comparative advantages and various capacities within the context of subsidiarity and complementarity in the areas of early warning and early action.
Chairman of the occasion and former Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari stressed the need for Africa to take its destiny in its own hand and to de-congest the UN Security Council agenda of African conflicts.
The chairman of the AU Peace and Security Council, Ambassador Mull Katende said the retreat was convened at a time the continent was confronted by persistent conflicts and relapses of some post-conflict situations.
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