President Hage Geingob has implored fellow African leaders to discourage those leaders who came into power by undemocratic means.
Geingob made the call in a speech delivered on his behalf by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, urging Africa’s leaders to adhere to the ideals of a new Africa, an Africa of electoral democracy, where former leaders are respected.
The Head of State’s speech was read at the official opening in Windhoek yesterday of the 6th Annual Retreat of Special Envoys and Mediators (ARSEM) on the Promotion of Peace, Security and Stability.
“I was pleased to see that in the recent coup attempt in Burkina Faso, the leader of the putsch admitted it had been the biggest mistake of his life,” he said.
“We must recognise that those principles for which the African Union and its citizens now stand, namely democracy and zero tolerance for undemocratic change of government, are key to the maintenance of peace, security and stability,” President Geingob said.
He noted that at the very first African Union (AU) Summit in Durban in 2002, the AU Peace and Security Council Protocol was adopted, which led to the establishment of the Peace and Security Council in 2004.
Geingob said the Protocol is based upon the Charter of the United Nations and provides a foundation for much of the council’s work. “It also demonstrates the ties that exist between the work of the AU and the United Nations, particularly with regard to peacekeeping,” he said.
The retreat is being attended by chairperson of the Peace and Security Council Ambassador Amina Diallo Djibo and the Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui.
Africa’s response to terrorism and its impact on peace operations are expected to be key focal points of the discussions.
The retreat is organised yearly by the Commission of the African Union (AU), with the aim of strengthening collaboration and coordination among international stakeholders involved in the promotion of peace on the continent.
This year’s retreat will seek to define and approach terrorism in the African context and examine non-military responses – like mediation – in dealing with terrorism, to arrive at a more comprehensive multilateral counter-terrorism agenda for Africa.
As part of the two-day event former Namibian president Sam Nujoma and Maria Ruth Neto will be honoured by the African Union with the Sons and Daughters for the Promotion of Peace and Security award at a special gala dinner.