Unless Africa finds an urgent solution to current conflicts in South Sudan and Central African Republic (CAR), the situation in the two countries would have serious implications for peace and security not only to the adjacent region but the whole continent. “It is incumbent upon us to help these two African states in restoring peace and stability and addressing their internal challenges,” Ethiopia’s Foreign Affairs Minister and Chair of the African Union (AU) Executive Council, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned in Addis Ababa on Monday.
He was speaking at the opening of its 24th ordinary session of the Council at the AU headquarters.
With regard to South Sudan, the Council chair congratulated the government and the opposition for signing last week agreements on cessation of hostilities and the question of detainees.
However, Tedros reiterated Africa’s call to both parties to fully implement the two vital pacts and continue to cooperate, without any precondition, with the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mediation team to address the root causes of the crisis in South Sudan.
“The current situation is a reflection of the challenges that face a post-conflict state and needs to be handled with a lot of wisdom and magnanimity,” he said, recalling that South Sudan paid tremendous sacrifices over the last decades before it gained independence.
Tedros urged South Sudanese political actors to rise above their individual interest to save their country “from falling into the precipice”.
He said that the international community should continue to put its weight behind the regional efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.
On CAR, Tedros said the situation remained a matter of concern particularly due to “the senseless violence that has taken a heavy toll on the civilian population”.
He further explained that the African-led International Support Mission in Central African Republic (MISCA) faced daunting challenges in assisting the country to restore peace and ensure a successful transition towards a constitutional order.
Describing the country as a fragile state, Tedros urged the international community to remain fully committed in providing support for CAR to stabilize itself and organize elections which would lead to a successful political transition.