ADDIS ABABA, May 24 — The African Union (AU) on Friday said that it will honor Africans who paid the ultimate price in AU Peace Support Missions by erecting a Memorial Wall inside the premises of the AU Headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
Inauguration of the Memorial Wall is “symbolically part of the 2019 celebration of Africa Day on May 25, the day on which the then Organization of African Unity (OAU), now African Union (AU), was founded in 1963,” the 55-member pan African bloc revealed in a statement on Friday.
According to the AU, the Memorial Wall will be erected in its compound “in honor of our heroes and heroines who paid the ultimate price in AU Peace Support Missions.”
The AU peace support missions that are said to be honored through the memorial wall include the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS), the AU Special Task Force in Burundi (AMIB), the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) and the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA).
“They were all deployed to contribute to peace and stability in the affected regions and countries,” the AU said.
The AU also said that “thousands of valiant Africans, serving as civilians and members of the security forces from AU member states have contributed to the AU efforts to enhance peace, security and stability on the continent.”
“Some of these brave men and women have in the course of duty paid the ultimate price, thus sacrificing their lives, so that millions of other Africans may live in a more peaceful and prosperous world,” the statement read.
“As a continent, we cannot thank them enough, however, this symbolic gesture commemorates their highest sacrifice,” the AU said.
It added that the memorial wall and the eventual remembrance event “seeks to honor these noble Africans who have distinguished themselves in the service of mankind.”
The inauguration ceremony on Saturday, which will be held in line with this year’s Africa Day celebrations, will bring together high-level representatives from the AU Commission leadership, officials from AU member states, regional economic commissions, AU Commission staff as well as AU partners, it was noted.
Africa Day, which is annually commemorated on May 25, marks the foundation of the OAU, the predecessor of AU, and its legacies to the betterment and unity of Africa.
In February this year, the pan African bloc had unveiled a commemorative statue of former Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia in recognition of his contribution to Africa’s liberation and unity leading up to the founding of the then OAU in 1963.
The unveiling of the Emperor’s statue came at the opening of the 32nd AU summit at the headquarters of the 55-member pan-African bloc, with the attendance of AU heads of state and government, foreign diplomats and prominent personalities, among others.
A commemorative statue was also erected back in 2012 in recognition of the same cause to Ghana’s former President Kwame Nkrumah.
Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa has been the seat of the headquarters of the pan-African bloc since its establishment in 1963. – XINHUA