In order to prevent conflicts on the continent, President Muhammadu Buhari has urged African Union (AU) members to strengthen their early warning systems.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement should be ratified, the president also urged all AU member states.
The President spoke about Nigeria’s stances and interventions in separate meetings at the 36th AU Summit, which is currently taking place in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia.
Alhaji Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, issued a press release on these on Sunday.
The summit, which has as its theme “Accelerating the African Continent Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Implementation,” provided a significant opportunity for the delegation from Nigeria, led by President Buhari, to emphasize that it has fully embraced the AfCFTA’s spirit after signing, ratifying, and depositing the instrument at the African Union Commission.
In light of this, President Buhari urged all signatory nations, the AUC, and the AfCFTA Secretariat to continue assisting with the agreement’s implementation.
Additionally, he urged the Agreement’s member states to be ratified.
President Buhari stated that “timely information sharing is vital to successful early warning and response processes” at the High-Level Side Event on “Early Warning Within the Framework of the African Union Peace and Security Council and the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services in Africa (CISSA),” which was hosted by President Teodoro Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea.
The President, who was represented by the National Security Advisor (NSA), Major-General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), issued a warning that member states miss opportunities to resolve conflict situations before they worsen if they ignore reliable early warning signals of an impending crisis.
The President was not present because he was attending another meeting where African Leaders’ reports on specific Summit themes were being discussed.
In light of this, he urged member nations to work more closely with the African Union Commission (AUC), regional economic communities (RECs), regional mechanisms (RMs), and other pertinent partners.
We also urge Member States to adopt the Country Structural Vulnerability and Resilience Assessment (CSVRA), the Country Structural Vulnerability Mitigation Strategies, and the Continental Structural Conflict Prevention Framework (CSCPF) and its tools (CSVMS).
“Our continent has dealt with a variety of security-related problems, including terrorism, violent extremism, and unconstitutional political changes, among others.
“These issues have come up repeatedly at various High-Level meetings, particularly at the Assembly’s May 2022 Malabo Extraordinary Session, demonstrating the significance attached to this alarming trend.
Nigeria thanks the AU, RECs, and RMs for their efforts to strengthen Continental Early Warning Systems (CEWS), as well as AU security and intelligence agencies like CISSA, AFRIPOL, and the Africa Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) for timely alerts on new threats.
“We reaffirm the Assembly’s 35th Session decision from February 2022, which instructed the AUC to create a monitoring and oversight committee to guarantee the success of early warning and response systems in Africa. We also call for improved horizon scanning briefings.
The AUC must also create a comprehensive strategy for security and peace that takes into account the principal causes of conflict on the continent, he added.
Earlier on Saturday, President Buhari took part with other African leaders in the AU Summit’s opening ceremony, where President Azali Assoumani of the Comoros assumed the rotating presidency of the organization.
Moussa Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia and host, Ahmed Gheit, Secretary-General of the Arab League, Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN, and Mohammad Shtayye, Prime Minister of Palestine, were among the speakers at the opening ceremony of the 36th AU Summit.
President Buhari attended the second Heads of State and Government Summit of the Sahel Region Climate Commission on Friday in Addis Abeba (SRCC).
President Buhari announced Nigeria’s readiness to host the Sahel Climate Fund Secretariat, including providing equipment and housing for the top management staff of the fund, at the SRCC High-Level Meeting.
Also on Friday, at the AU Peace and Security Council meeting on the situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, President Buhari was represented by the minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama (DRC).
African leaders requested that all armed groups leave the eastern DRC by the end of next month at the mini-summit, which was held concurrently with the SRCC High-Level meeting.
They demanded the “immediate cessation of hostilities” by all armed groups as well as the relocation of those displaced by the violence.