High-level workshop on AU's Silencing the Guns by 2020 opens in Ethiopia

A high level workshop on fast-tracking action towards galvanizing peace processes in order to end all wars and violent conflicts in Africa by 2020 opened up on Thursday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The two-day workshop chaired by African Union’s Commissioner for Peace and Security Amb. Ramtane Lamamra, is under the ‘Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020’ initiative, which is a flagship project of African Union’s Agenda 2063.

A concept note for the workshop says that the meeting will among other things seek to identify priority actions that need to be undertaken in order to silence the guns within
two years in Africa, with an action plan constituting Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin, North Africa, Great lakes (including CAR) and the Horn of Africa (including South Sudan).

In 2017 AU’s Peace and Security Council, has adopted a “Master Roadmap of practical steps to Silencing the Guns by 2020”, while the Chairperson of the Commission has prepared
recommendations to the AU Assembly on measures to be taken to strengthen leadership,
political will and to mobilize the contribution of stakeholders in peace processes, as well as
to reinforce meditation and peace operations on the continent.

Participants of the ongoing High-Level Workshop on Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020 pose for a group photo after the morning discussion session. #STGinAfrica AU_PSD Lamamra_dz HannaTetteh pic.twitter.com/QLwuZ7r539— Silencing the Guns in Africa (STGinAfrica) October 11, 2018

Experts say AU’s roadmap for dealing with arms, if well implemented will contribute to peace and security on the continent, and that the decision to dedicate every September to this cause until 2020 is one of the many steps in the right direction.

H.E. Ramtane Lamamra, #AU High Representative on Silencing the Guns, accompanied by #SRCC Amb. Hawa Youssouf, was received by H.E. President Hery Rajaonarimampianina on official mission to #Madagascar from 20 – 23 November 2017 pic.twitter.com/o4GYHYmLan— African Union Peace (@AU_PSD) November 24, 2017

The initiative faces three immediate challenges which include funding, disarming fragile communities (particularly in countries with peacekeeping missions), and ensuring that justice and the rule of law are maintained throughout the process.

Speaking at the summit, Rwanda’s Minister for Justice, Johnston Busingye, has reiterated Rwanda’s commitment to the arms trade treaty as part of the country’s contribution towards curbing illegal arms dealing in Africa.

“As nations, we are putting efforts together to reduce the illegal arms flow that continues to feed conflicts and divert resources,” he said.

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