EL committed to silencing Africa’s destructive guns – Sikaneta
Published On February 28, 2018 » 2890 Views» By Evans Musenya Manda » Latest News, Stories
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By CHUSA SICHONE
PRESIDENT Edgar Lugnu has demonstrated unflinching support to the African Union (AU) flagship programme of silencing the guns on the continent by the year 2020, Zambia’s ambassador to Ethiopia Susan Sikaneta has observed.
Ms Sikaneta said President Lungu’s commitment could also be seen through the policies that the Government had put in place to ensure that there was voluntary surrender of illegal arms in Zambia.
The Master Roadmap on Silencing the Guns by 2020 presented and approved during the Heads of States and Government summit in January 2017 was crafted in Zambia during a Peace and Security Retreat in November 2016, which was officially opened by President Lungu as keynote speaker.
A statement from the Zambian embassy in Ethiopia quotes Mrs Sikaneta as saying that it was time that all member states showed commitment by going full throttle to implement the programme of silencing the guns that are slowing down development in Africa.
She said it was unfortunate that illegal weapons were found in many African countries, and Africa would do well to have these surrendered and to concentrate on development, the statement said.
Ms Sikaneta said this during a working luncheon meeting with the AU chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat and members of the AU Peace and Security Council, according to the statement issued by First Secretary for Press and Tourism at the Zambian Embassy in Addis Ababa, Inutu Mwanza.
Ms Sikaneta said 2018 should be used as a symbolic occasion for silencing the guns by destroying the massive collection of illegal weapons which were a threat to the continent’s peace and stability and which largely triggered conflict, damage to property and loss of life.
Ms Sikaneta called for more publicity during the months leading to September, which the AU has designated as the amnesty month for surrendering illegal weapons, noting that last year there was insufficient media publicity.
The ambassador further urged member states to take effective measures to address all root causes of violent conflicts, including the sources of illicit supply of weapons or arms and ammunition.
Speaking at the same function, South Africa expressed support for the efforts that Zambia had put in place for silencing the guns and agreed that more needed to be done to disseminate as much information as possible during the amnesty month for the surrender of illegal weapons.
The AU chairperson agreed that silencing the guns was not just about reducing the number of illegal weapons but ensuring that new conflicts were not allowed to ensue and called for political will among member states and the need to focus on conflict preventive measures in Africa.

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