AU launches pass­port

Daily Trust - - NEWS -

The long-awaited African Union (AU) pass­port was launched yes­ter­day at the open­ing cer­e­mony of the 27th Or­di­nary Ses­sion of the Assem­bly of the AU Sum­mit in Kigali, Rwanda.

The Assem­bly is made up of heads of states and gov­ern­ments of the 54 mem­ber states of the AU.

The AU Com­mis­sion’s Chair­per­son, Dr Dlamini Zuma, pre­sented the pass­port to the Chair­per­son of the union, Pres­i­dent Idriss Deby of Chad and Pres­i­dent Paul Kagame of Rwanda.

Zuma, in her ad­dress, said the pass­port was a land­mark achieve­ment of the com­mis­sion and was in­tended to help with re­gional in­te­gra­tion of peo­ple of the con­ti­nent.

She said Africa was full of hope, pos­si­bil­ity and op­ti­mism and she was sure that the com­mis­sion would achieve its aim of a bet­ter Africa.

She, how­ever, said a bet­ter Africa could only be achieved where peace and se­cu­rity reigned.

“As AU we have made the pledge not to be­queath vi­o­lent con­flicts, wars and geno­cide to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of Africans. That pledge de­mands our at­ten­tion,’’ she said.

Pres­i­dent Deby while declar­ing the ses­sion open, said that the re­treat of the heads of states pro­duced im­mea­sur­able re­sults.

He said this was be­cause the con­ti­nent had de­cided to take its des­tiny in its own hands by re­solv­ing to fully fund the ac­tiv­i­ties of the union by con­tribut­ing to it fi­nan­cially and to en­sure peace and sta­bil­ity.

He, how­ever, urged mem­ber states to meet up to their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

Deby said the re­cent con­flict in South Su­dan was a con­stant re­minder of the times the con­ti­nent was in and that Africa’s lack of pos­si­bil­i­ties to face dif­fi­cul­ties was un­ac­cept­able. Pres­i­dent Kagame in his wel­come ad­dress said that the AU at its in­cep­tion was pre­cip­i­tated on unity.

He said the con­cept of unity was what an­chored hu­man di­ver­sity in the bedrock of universal val­ues. Pales­tinian Pres­i­dent, Mah­moud Ab­bas, in his re­marks con­demned strongly the ter­ror­ist at­tack on Nice, France, say­ing it was un­ac­cept­able.

Ab­bas said Pales­tine was ready to co­op­er­ate with Africa since it had all the skills and com­pe­ten­cies that would be ben­e­fi­cial to both par­ties. The sum­mit which has its theme as “Year of the Hu­man Rights’’ with par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on the rights of women, be­gan on Mon­day. (NAN)

Photo: Ab­dul­la­teef Salau

Mem­bers of Turk­ish com­mu­nity in Abuja stormed the em­bassy to show sol­i­dar­ity to the Gov­ern­ment of Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan yes­ter­day. See story on page 7 >>>

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