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30.05.2004 General News

Kufuor lauds establishment of Africa Peace and Security Council

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Malabo, May 30, GNA - Africa is taking hold of its destiny with the establishment of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) on the continent, President John Agyekum Kufuor said in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea on Saturday.

He said this move should yield positive results if all African countries would give absolute support and cooperation to the African Union (AU) and its programmes.

President Kufuor said this when replying to a toast at a state banquet held in his honour at Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. President Kufuor is in Equatorial Guinea on a three-day state visit to improve on bilateral relations between both countries. It is also a reciprocal one to a state visit to Ghana in August last year by President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, of Equatorial Guinea. The African Union on May 25 this year inaugurated the PSC, which is charged with the responsibility to foster peace and security on the continent.

In addition to the usual conflict management practices such as conflict prevention through the use of early warning and preventive diplomacy, the PSC is also tasked with humanitarian action and disaster management.

President Kufuor said the NEPAD initiative and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) in particular should be fully supported and subscribed to as they were all tailor made to provide effective solutions to Africa's problems.

"What matters now is for us, the leaders of respective countries to act in sincerity with other African leaders," he added.

President Kufuor said such sincerity among the leaders would lead to the achievement of the African dream of a continent characterised by legitimate governments adhering to the rule of law, good governance, respect for human rights and collectively working to eradicate disease, poverty, conflicts and illiteracy.

On relations between both countries, President Kufuor stressed the need for them to re-visit the commitments made in August 2003 and re-activate the Ghana-Equatorial Guinea Permanent Joint Commission for Co-operation, which met in November 2000.

He said although the Commission agreed to re-convene in November 2003, unfortunately, not only did it fail to meet as planned, but also it had since then been unable to consult adequately on matters of mutual concern including fixing a new date for the meeting.

President Kufuor said it had also not been possible to conduct any meaningful follow-ups on the discussions and conclusions of the first meeting.

President Mbasogo proposing the toast, appealed to African leaders not to condone acts of terrorism and destabilization in neighbouring countries.

He announced that the mercenaries who attempted to invade his country would be tried soon in the presence of international observers. President Mbasogo called for more fruitful co-operation between both countries for the socio-economic and political development of their people.