ADDIS ABABA, FEB 7 — Foreign Ministers of the African Union (AU) member states on Thursday met at the headquarters of the pan-African bloc in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa to discuss the status of African refugees, returnees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
During the two-day meeting, from Feb. 7 to 8, African foreign ministers are expected to consider key lasting solutions to Africa’s migration and forced displacement crisis.
The Executive Council is mainly expected to prepare recommendations for the upcoming AU assembly of heads of state and government summit, which is scheduled to take place from Feb. 10 to 11.
In his opening remarks, Moussa Faki Mahamt, Chairperson of the AU Commission, noted that the Executive Council session, being held within the framework of the 32nd ordinary session of the assembly of the AU, will discuss on the possible solutions to Africa’s migration crisis.
“The theme of this year is devoted to the issues of returnees, refugees, and internally displaced persons,” Faki said, adding “This choice reflects the renewed will of our leaders to find a lasting response to the burning issue of forced displacement of persons.”
The AU chairperson also stressed that African leaders have a dual responsibility as the continent continues to seek the support of the international community in its efforts to contend the detrimental impacts of migration and forced displacement.
According to Faki, the major objective behind African leaders’ gathering “is to rid the continent from discouraging armed conflict by 2020.”
Faki further stressed that the realization of the Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020, which is AU’s flagship vision towards peaceful Africa, “is not impossible, and it only suffices the necessary political will.” – XINHUA