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07.12.2021 06:12 News >> Dakar Forum Opens With Focus On Stability, COVID

Dakar Forum Opens With Focus On Stability, COVID

‘In terms of security, the situation is serious in Africa,’ says African Union Commission chairman.

The 7th edition of the Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa opened Monday in the Senegalese capital with a focus on stability and the challenges faced by the continent in a post-COVID-19 world.
"In terms of security, the situation is serious in Africa," said African Union Commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat.
Host Macky Sall, the president of Senegal, said it is necessary to point out the internal and external causes of conflicts on the continent and evaluate the responses.
He called for a united front involving national responsibility, international solidarity and collective security.
"This means that peace and security in Africa are integral to world peace and security," he said.
His Nigerien counterpart Mohamed Bazoum recommended a military strategy adapted to the challenges consisting in the use of techniques and means to make warfare less asymmetric.
He also mentioned the need for "exceptional financial resources," and like Faki Mahamat, he stressed the need for technical support partners in this security struggle.
France, which is engaged on this front in the Sahel countries, where it is also subject to anti-French sentiment, declared that its goal "is not to act in place of the Sahelian countries but to act with them" in cooperation.
The message was carried by France's Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly at the forum.
"France has no hidden agenda in the Sahel," she added, indicating her country's continued commitment to the Sahel "with determination."
For Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), peace and security cannot be established by focusing solely on military approaches.
"It is necessary to invest in people, to put them at the heart of all political decisions and collective efforts. There will be no security without human security," he said.
He deplored the humanitarian situation of 26 million people in Africa living in areas of confrontation between arms bearers, where humanitarian organizations have the greatest difficulty in reaching them.
Vaccine apartheid
On COVID-19, Maurer called for more multilateral efforts in vaccine production and distribution but also a commitment to ensure adequate access to effective health systems for millions of people behind the front lines.
The African continent's response to COVID-19 is embodied in effective regional collaboration and a joint effort to prepare for future health crises, he said.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called for an end to "vaccine apartheid" and stressed the need for a resilient Africa.
"Making our own vaccines is not only the quickest way to access this vital medicine to protect our people, it is also a critical component of economic recovery," he said.
He reiterated his call for no travel restrictions following the recent discovery of omicron, the South African variant of the coronavirus that could "devastate the economies of southern Africa."
European Council President Charles Michel recommended a paradigm shift in the partnership between the European Union and the African Union.
"The commitment to cooperation, as equal partners, must materialize in action," he said, appreciating the EU's commitment to accelerating vaccine capacity in Senegal and South Africa.
The two-day international meeting will end on Tuesday. -



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