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28.02.2004 General News

African leaders adopt policy on Defence and Security

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From: Patrick A. Firempong, GNA Special Correspondent, Sirte

Sirte, Libya, Feb. 28, GNA - African leaders on Saturday adopted the Common African Defence and Security Policy and declared their commitment to uphold and give practical expression to the provisions of the declaration.

The policy was adopted in a 14-point declaration made at the end of the two-day second extraordinary summit of the Heads of States and Government of the African Union (AU) in Sirte, Libya.

The adaptation was guided by the principles enshrined in the Constitutive Act of the AU and in the UN Charter and their common vision of a united and strong Africa.

It was also based on the scrupulous respect for human rights, peaceful co-existence, non-aggression, non-interference in the internal matters of member states, mutual respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity of each state.

The African Leaders said the adaptation was motivated by a common political will to strengthen their collective efforts to continue to ensure peace, security, stability, justice and development in Africa as well as to intensify co-operation and integration on the continent in the best interest of Africans.

The policy envisages the establishment of an African Stand-by Force based on the five regional groupings, namely countries in the North, South, West, East and Central Africa.

The Force shall perform functions in the context of preventive deployment and peace-building, including post-conflict disarmament and demobilization.

It shall also provide humanitarian assistance to alleviate the suffering of the civilian population in conflict areas as well as support efforts to address major natural disasters.

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