H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania gives his opening remarks earlier today during the 368th Ministerial Meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council in Serena Hotel, in Dar es Salaam. Second right is H.E. Ramtane Lamamra, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security and Hon. Bernard K. Membe (MP) (1st right), Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation.
Listening to President Kikwete's opening remarks were Dr. Joram Biswaro, Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania in Ethiopia (1st left) and Ambassador Maharage Juma, Chief of Protocol.
Distinguished guests during the 368th Ministerial Meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council and Members of the Diplomatic Corps.
President Kikwete in a brief discussion with Hon. Membe.
H.E. Ramtane Lamamra, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security gives his remarks during the 368th Ministerial Meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council.
Hon. Bernard K. Membe (MP), Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-opertaion gives his remarks during the 368th Ministerial Meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council.
Ambassador Liberata Mulamula (center), Ambassador Vincent Kibwana (left) and Premi Kibanga observing to Tanzania National Anthem playing in the background by the Brass Band (not in the photo) during the opening ceremony of the 368th Ministerial Meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council.
President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (front- 2nd left) walking together with Ambassador Liberata Mulamula (right), his Senior Advisor (Diplomatic Affairs) and Ambassador Joram Biswaro.
H.E. President Kikwete (center) shares a light moment with Hon. Membe and H.E. Lamamra, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security.
President Kikwete in a group photo with distinguished members of the AU Peace and Security Council.
President Kikwete addresses members of media.
AU: Madagascar on right track to end
By Tagie Daisy Mwakawago
“We must have a mindset of peace and security within our regions. We must not waver,” said President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of the United Republic of Tanzania, urging his fellow Africans to uphold principles of democracy and build a strong foundation that can keep and maintain stability within the Continent.
President Kikwete gave his opening remarks earlier today during the 368th Ministerial Meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council, where he thanked the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Her Excellency Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, for her admirable leadership and for enabling this meeting to take place for the first time in Tanzania since the establishment of the AU Peace and Security Council in 2004.
During his remarks, President Kikwete, who is also the Chairperson of the Southern African Development Cooperation (SADC) – Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, stated that AU has been a driving force in promoting peace within the continent, and that the time has come to strengthen its framework in order to act swiftly whenever crises arise.
This year marks 50 years Anniversary of the Organisation of African Union (now African Union) where Africa has seen significant step towards peace and stability since its independence. President Kikwete said that such positive shift results from the active engagement of the AU and regional economic communities where peace and security challenges have been addressed progressively.
“We must stay the cause and guard against divisive politics based on ethnicity, regionalism or religion,” asserted President Kikwete, adding that those who enter into office by force or undemocratic mean shall not be tolerated.
Speaking on the situation in Madagascar, President Kikwete said that SADC-Organ welcomed the decision by both former President Marc Ravalomanana and the current President of the Transition Andry Rajoelina of not contesting in the upcoming presidential election slated for July 2013, pointing that it is a positive step towards a peaceful and democratic elections.
“This is a patriotic commitment that the two leaders have shown, setting aside their own personal interests for the benefit of the people of Madagascar,” said President Kikwete, commending the two leaders and urged them to honor such commitments.
President Kikwete further thanked President Chissano for his tireless efforts and dedication in molding the crumbled political situation in Madagascar. To the latter, the President also acknowledged the perseverance shown by the collective efforts and unity of the AU, the United Nations, the League of Arab States, the International Organization of La Francophonie as well as the SADC Members in their continuing support and efforts in finding solutions to the crisis in Madagascar.
Speaking earlier, the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security H.E. Ramtane Lamamra stated that Tanzania has been at the forefront in the search for Continental peace and security since its leading role as a Chair of the OAU Liberation Committee, spearheaded by the Late Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere. He also lauded President Kikwete for his leadership in peace building within the Continent during his time as a Foreign Minister and currently as the President of Tanzania.
For his part, Hon. Bernard K. Membe (MP), Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation also briefed the AU delegates about the previous SADC decisions on political situation in Madagascar made in December 2012 and January 2013 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The decisions underscored the importance of the full implementation of the Roadmap set in by the AU and SADC-Troika.
“We are meeting today to review any implementations of the Roadmap in the hope to secure a peaceful, free and fair election in Madagascar,” said Hon. Membe, speaking on behalf of Tanzania Government which currently sits as a chair of the AU 368th Ministerial Level Meeting of the Peace and Security Council for one month.
He said the Meeting is set to consider a report of the former President Joachim Chissano of Mozambique on the political situation in Madagascar and discuss the interim AU and SADC-Organ sanctions implemented by President Rajoelina.
The AU member states will also discuss a framework to ensure that constitutional order is restored back in Madagascar.
The 368th Meeting was attended by Ministers and other Representatives from member states of the AU Peace and Security Council that included Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Congo (Brazzaville), Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Lesotho, Egypt, Mozambique, Nigeria Uganda and Tanzania. Also the following attended during the opening ceremony: United States of America, the United Kingdom, International Organizations of Francophone, the European Union and the African Diplomatic Corps.
The meeting is expected to be concluded today later in the evening.