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31.01.2005 General News

Africa needs preventive conflict management mechanism

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Accra, Jan. 31, GNA - The German Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Peter Linder on Monday called for the institution of new preventive conflict management mechanism and the strengthening of existing ones in Africa.

"Conflicts, violence and instability are the key obstacles to Africa's sustainable development... Without peace the people of Africa have no hope of sharing the fruits of globalisation.

"It is essential that Africans themselves recognise this connection and adopt the necessary conflict preventive mechanisms," Mr Linder told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra.

Speaking on German development cooperation with Ghana and Africa, Mr Linder said: "We are supporting the development of Africa's own crisis-prevention and peacekeeping capacities by providing assistance in the form of funding and personnel to the African Union (AU), sub-regional institutions and individual projects."

He said Germany was also supporting Africa's regional integration efforts and development of its own security, political and economic structures in line with the G8 Action Plan for Africa.

He said through the European Union, Germany had facilitated the formation of the Peace Facility for Africa (PFA) to be financed with European Development Fund to settle conflicts in Africa.

Mr Linder said the PFA would also be used as a platform to foster a sense of responsibility and solidarity among states on the Continent. It would create a constructive triangle of African solidarity, European partnership and endorsement by the United Nations, which in turn would highlight the close connection between the cooperation within the UN on one hand and peace and security issues on the other.

On the West Africa Sub-Region, the German Ambassador to Ghana described the consolidation of peace in Sierra Leone, the ending of the civil war in Liberia and the efforts in Cote d'Ivoire with the deployment of ECOWAS and UN troops as key successes.

He said those developments would lead to lasting consolidation and the visible economic revival of West Africa.

However, the continued strengthening of the regional organisation and enhancement of economic cooperation among the member states were of key importance, he said.

On Ghana, the Ambassador said Germany was actively supporting the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre. He explained that the centre's courses for civilian experts, soldiers and police officers would foster new modes of thinking and acting in the form of comprehensive peacekeeping for the promotion of stability.

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