AU Peace and Security Council Discuss Impact of COVID-19 on Peace and Security in Africa
April 18, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Peace and Security Council of the African Union called on member States to further enhance their cross-border cooperation to deny terrorists and armed groups, criminal networks, and traffickers the opportunity to exploit the current COVID-19 situation to perpetuate their activities.
The council related this in a communiqué issued following its virtual meeting held to discuss the impact of the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak on peace and security in Africa on April 14.
Given the nature of the virus and its negative impact on AU peace and security activities, the council underscored the urgent need to mobilize and deploy all necessary efforts, within the spirit of international solidarity, in order to effectively mitigate, contain the spread and defeat COVID-19.
Further emphasizing the importance of solidarity among Africans, the Council called on member states to draw lessons learned from the recent successful fight against the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in parts of the Continent.
The Council also reiterated the call for all belligerents to fully embrace and uphold the Global Ceasefire in order to facilitate efforts being deployed against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Council welcomed the establishment of the African Union COVID-19 Response Fund in order to mobilize the required financial resources for Africa’s fight against the pandemic.
The Council also appealed to the bilateral and international development partners, to consider debt cancellation and relief to those African countries with fragile economies.
The Council paid special tribute to Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed and Mr. Jack Ma, for their personal efforts and commitment in mobilizing material support for the fight against COVID-19 within the Continent.
The Council also commended the Ethiopian Airlines and the World Food Programme (WFP), for delivering donated medical equipment to all Member States.
The Council affirmed its unflinching support to the relentless efforts being deployed by WHO, particularly its Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in providing timely information, technical guidance and material assistance towards efforts to contain the spread and mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
The Peace and Security Council also commended the Africa CDC, member states and all private sector entities, partner countries, international institutions and philanthropist organizations for mobilizing resources and taking swift measures to mitigate the impact of the virus.