AU reiterates creation of African rapid response force

The African Union  on Wednesday called on its member-countries to fast track the creation of a rapid response force to address the security challenges on the continent.

The African Union  on Wednesday called on its member-countries to fast track the creation of a rapid response force to address the security challenges on the continent.

Pierre Buyoya, the AU High Representative for Mali and Sahel, made the call at the 43rd Ordinary Session of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) in Abuja.

Buyoya, who is also a former Burundian President, said the need to create an African rapid response force was drawn from the decisions made by the AU Heads of States in the last AU Summit.

He recalled the crises in Mali and Guinea Bissau and commended the efforts made by Ecowas and the international community to restore the territorial integrity of both countries. 

He commended Ecowas for the creation of African-led International Support Mission for Mali (Afisma) and commended countries that provided troops for the realization of the mission.

“Afisma was created to assist the Malian authorities to retrieve the north which was occupied by terrorist groups and ensure the sovereignty, integrity and unity of Mali,” he added.

In his address, Ecowas Chairman, President Alassane Outtara welcomed the AU decision to adopt a strategic approach to address insecurity on the continent and the West African sub- region. 

Outtara also reiterated the need for a defense policy to prevent the repetition of the crises in Mali and Guinea Bissau in the region and address terrorism.

Mali and Guinea Bissau top the agenda of the 43rd Ordinary Session of the Ecowas Heads of State and Government.

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