Rwanda wants Peace and Security to be prioritized at discussions of the forthcoming African Union summit.
President Paul Kagame says Integration of Africa’s regional blocs will not be possible without peace and security.
“As we integrate regionally, we want to keep integrating Africa. It’s about development but it’s not allowing having lack of peace and security…then development is not taking shape as it should be and in real sense means integration,” He said.
African heads of states, including Kagame, will on 30th January, gather in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, for the 24th ordinary session of the African Union summit.
For the past decade, Rwanda has been pushing for the disarmament of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels whose members are responsible for the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi during which over a million lives were lost.
Kagame told Journalists Thursday, “I think we shall talk more about what we can do together to ensure peace and security across the continent and how we can work together to achieve development plans.”
Rwanda has also expressed its disappointment at the failure of FDLR disarmament as the deadline on January 2, passed without any substantial military action against the rebels.
Kagame noted, “I would be too extravagant in my confidence that things are going into account the way they should…based on the history that we have been with FDLR for a decade now.”
He said that what has been playing around about the militia group “has not been helpful at all.”
The Rwandan President believes this year’s AU summit should look at regional and continent’s integration, but also remember that they all fall under Peace and Security.
Eastern Africa countries have formed Standby Force with a mandate to enrich security in Eastern part of the continent.
The force is made of over 3000 troops from 10 partner states; Rwanda, Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda. Rwanda expects a lot from the Force.
Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo told Journalists that the force is ready for deployment.
“We have good news about the Force being ready one year ahead of the African Union Agenda,” She said.
During last year’s session, heads of states agreed this year’s summit to be dubbed; “Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063.”
The 2063 agenda is an AU-backed approach seeking continent’s harmony in learning lessons of the past, build on the current progress, to ensure positive social economic transformation within the next 50 years.