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UN chief, African leaders pledge action on terrorism, civil strife

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-01-30 17:59

ADDIS ABABA - The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon and dozens of African leaders on Friday declared total support towards efforts to combat terrorism and violent conflicts on the continent.

Speaking during the African Union (AU) peace and Security Council meeting in Addis Ababa, Ban said the international community will support the war against terrorism alongside cessation of conflicts in Africa.

"Terrorism and violent extremism that have engulfed this continent are a drawback to economic progress, peace and unity. The menace of terrorism is also hampering peace operations in Mali and Somalia," Ban said.

He decried alarming radicalization of African youth, and urged governments to prioritize inclusive development, good governance and human rights in order to shield vulnerable groups from joining militant groups.

"African governments must be at the forefront in a bid to combat violent extremism. To win the war against terrorism, we must focus less on military interventions, but invest more in education for the youth, development and good governance," Ban remarked.

He also urged African leaders to support peace and reconciliation in trouble spots like South Sudan and Burundi.

"The UN will support efforts to end political crisis in Burundi and South Sudan. I call upon warring parties in South Sudan to speed up formation of government of national unity," said the UN chief, adding that the international community will back efforts to end the political crisis in Burundi.

African countries have prioritized the war against terrorism alongside peace and reconciliation in countries affected by civil strife.

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Chairperson of the AU peace and Security Council and President of Equatorial Guinea, said the African continent must address the twin challenges of terrorism and conflicts as a matter of urgency.

"We must adopt new measures to contain the threat of terrorism, religious fundamentalism and conflicts that have undermined our ability to establish a stable, peaceful and prosperous continent," he said.

The chairperson disclosed that AU member states have endorsed a common position to fight terrorist groups like Nigeria's Boko Haram and Somalia's Al-Shabaab with singular resolve.

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