UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres maintains Africa is increasingly moving in the “direction of peace”.
Speaking in Addis Ababa earlier this week, where he was taking part in the second annual African Union/UN conference, Guterres pointed to the visit by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister to “rival and neighbour Eritrea” as well as “close collaboration in areas such as peace and security”.
“We feel a wind blowing in the direction of peace. This gives us hope the African continent will be moving more and more in the right direction in peace and security,” he added, telling delegates the UN could not afford to fail in dealings with the continent.
He also focussed on what he described as the “dramatic crises” in Africa, where the UN deployed peacekeeping missions in four countries. They are the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mali and South Sudan.
Guterres said the rise of armed groups and international terrorist organisations such as Boko Haram means these operations are not involved in “traditional” peacekeeping and needed more funding, particularly for enforcing peace and countering terrorism.
“We need to understand when African troops are fighting terrorists in the Sahel they are not only protecting the citizens of the Sahel. They are protecting the world. And the world must be in solidarity with Africa, as African forces are protecting us all,” he said.
He also appealed to the international community to take action against the flow of illegal funds, money-laundering and tax evasion which costs Africa $50 billion every year.
“This is a responsibility for the international community to support Africa to make sure African resources remain in Africa to support African development.”