Saturday, June 1, 2013

African leaders have now realised they must work together

In Addis, Jammeh told the AU Assembly that without peace and stability, anything they desire will become an elusive dream (Photo credit: SEYLLOU/AFP).

President Jammeh has said African leaders have now realised that “we have to work together”.

“Africa is the richest continent on earth in terms of mineral resources and we have human resource too,” Jammeh said on Tuesday. “If Japan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar can develop, why can't the continent of Africa develop? Now we realised that we have to work together.”

Jammeh, who was speaking to State TV following his return from the AU’s 21st General Assembly in Addis Ababa, said the “Arabs speak with one voice regarding an issue, but, when you come to Africa we speak with ten or twenty different voices.” 

“… that is why Africa is backward because most of the leaders from independence to date have been following those that subjugated us, colonised us, enslaved us and exploited us for the past four hundred years," Mr Jammeh said upon returing from the Ethiopian capital, where the 50th Anniversary of the AU, formerly of Organisation of African Unity, OAU, was held.

Reconciliation and permanent peace in Africa 

He reiterated his proposal to the AU to spare at least 10 years of its 2013 to 2063 development plan - a decades of African reconciliation and establishment of permanent peace in Africa.

In Addis, Jammeh told the AU Assembly that without peace and stability, anything they desire will become an elusive dream.

"With regards to peace and security in Africa, I think we have committed ourselves to 2013 and 2063 - that is 50 years,” Jammeh said according to media reports. “We all know development cannot take place without peace and stability and unless we commit ourselves to resolving all the problems that we have in the continent whatever we yearned for in the next 50 years would become an elusive dream." 

While in Banjul, Jammeh further elaborated on his proposal, saying: "As we are celebrating at the celebration venue (in Addis) most of us are fighting each other either directly or indirectly.”

How can you integrate Africa when we are fighting each other? So the most important thing is to engender peace and security in Africa, he said.

The Gambian leader believes some of these crises are deeply entrenched that it will require concerted effort of all African leaders.

He said: “It will take almost ten years for us to end all conflicts and reconcile and ensure peace and security. Until we so do, this coming 2013 to 2063 would be an elusive dream. So without peace and stability let us not talk about development."  

Written by Modou S. Joof
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