President Zuma expresses concern regarding the activities of armed groupings in Africa

18 May 2014

The President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Jacob Zuma, has expressed concern regarding the activities of certain armed groupings in various African countries and called on the African Union (AU) to activate requisite measures aimed at ensuring long-lasting peace and stability on the continent.

President Zuma said: "The Government and the people of South Africa condemn in the strongest terms the abduction of school children in the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the armed group, Boko Haram and calls on the kidnappers to release the children without further delay". The South African Government reiterates its condemnation of all forms and manner of terrorism. South Africa believes that terrorism, in any form and from whichever quarter, cannot be condoned.

Regarding the bombing and maiming of innocent civilians in the Republic of Kenya, President Zuma said the targeting of unarmed and innocent civilians is deplorable. The President said the AU needed to urgently activate its peace and security architecture to bring to an end the activities of the armed groupings that are responsible for a series of attacks targeting civilians.

President Zuma has also called on the people of the Central African Republic to work towards peace in their country. "The people of the CAR have endured enough strife and conflict. We urge all leaders in the CAR to unite the people behind a common vision of peaceful co-existence and national unity." He reiterated his full support for the African Union International Support Mission to the Central African Republic. President Zuma calls on all parties in the Central African Republic to cooperate fully with the Mission.

President Zuma said the worrying developments highlighted above threaten to undermine the progress made by the continent in the economic and other fronts, adding that these challenges underline the need for the AU to move on its previous agreements to operationalise the African Standby Force.

"It is crucial to build a stronger and a well-resourced African Union to take forward the promotion of peace, security and the socioeconomic advancement of the continent,” Zuma said. "Part of the capacity needed by the AU is the establishment of the African Standby Force for rapid deployment in crisis areas without delays.”

South Africa as a member of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) looks forward to the next meeting of the AUPSC to discuss the security situation of all these sister countries and collectively find solutions to the challenges they are confronted with.

For more information: Clayson Monyela on 082 884 5974.

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