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16.06.2004 General News

Africa needs peace to develop - Speaker

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Accra, June 16, GNA - The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Peter Ala Adjetey on Wednesday said peace was imperative to Africa's development. He made the remark when Mr Ato Cham Ugala, Ethiopian Ambassador to Ghana, called on him in his office to brief him on the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea over a parcel of land along the boundary between the two countries.

The Ambassador was accompanied by, Ms Atsede Kidanu, Minister Consular at the Ethiopian Embassy in Ghana. Mr Ala Adjetey said, "armed conflict is not desirable - we are far behind in our developmental effort as a continent and we need peace to develop".

He noted that though Africa was potentially wealthy, its peoples were so impoverished that "we cannot afford to engage in violent conflicts and keep wasting our meagre gains to resolve them". He urged the Ethiopian Ambassador to impress upon his government to exercise restraint in the way they handled the land conflict between them and Eritrea, saying that, whatever resulted from the work of the Boundary Commission set up to look into the matter, it would definitely demand some compromise on the part of both parties.

Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, the Majority Chief Whip and member of the ECOWAS Parliament, noted the need for restraint on the part of the Ethiopian Government in the matter, adding, it was vital to the peace of the area and Africa as a whole.

He alluded to the Nigerian-Cameroonian conflict over the Bakassie Peninsular, saying that, beyond the ruling of the World Court, the two countries resorted to dialogue and showed that dialogue was the best means to a lasting solution.

Mr Ugala noted that though the parcel of land in contention was not as big as can be, "our position is that justice must be done to ensure that the land is given to the rightful owners."

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