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African leaders told to build inclusive societies to end conflicts

African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Monday urged political leaders on the continent to build inclusive and tolerant societies if they want to put an end to civil wars and other violent conflicts. In her opening remarks at the 24th ordinary session of the AU Executive Council in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, Dlamini Zuma reminded African leaders of the promise they made during the 50th anniversary summit last May “to work tirelessly to silence all guns by 2020”.

According to the AUC Chairperson, the African leaders also pledged “to our people that we shall not bequeath to future generations the scourge of wars and conflicts”.

She said “If we want to silence all guns by 2020, we must build inclusive and tolerant societies, manage our diversity, ensure forgiveness and reconciliation and respect for human rights. We must act against impunity by expanding the powers of the African Court for People’s and Human Rights, among other steps.'

The AUC boss noted that the cost of conflicts and internal strife were too huge in the devastation of human lives and sufferings and “at the cost of our development”.

“We must therefore continue to create climates for peace and stability, including effective, democratic and accountable governance institutions, and by ensuring development and shared prosperity,” PANA quoted Dlamini Zuma as saying.

She said the priorities “we set for ourselves as a continent” cannot be realised without strong institutions, resource mobilisation, unity and popular participation.

To this end, she promised that the Commission will early this year take some difficult decisions to improve its institutional effectiveness, in line with the Bahir Dar Retreat recommendations to identify and strengthen the other institutions key to African integration.

Pana 27/01/2014