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China commits to peace mediation in Horn of Africa

By Otiato Opali in Nairobi, Kenya | | Updated: 2022-06-22 20:14
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Xue Bing, China's special envoy for Horn of Africa affairs, has reiterated China's resolve to continue supporting Horn of Africa countries in their efforts toward achieving sustainable peace, security and regional development.

While speaking at the China and the Horn of Africa's first Peace, Governance and Development Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Monday, Xue said Beijing is ready to help the region's countries find peace and get rid of external interference.

"China will continue to support countries in the region to uphold the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. We will work to protect regional peace and security and silence the guns in the Horn of Africa," Xue said.

He underlined China's readiness to support Horn of Africa countries in development, accelerating regional integration, enhancing connectivity, boosting homegrown economic development and exploring complementarity.

The two-day conference brought together ministers and high-level representatives of Horn of Africa countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Uganda.

Redwan Hussein, national security adviser to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, lauded China, saying this initiative belongs to, is directed, managed and piloted by the countries of the Horn of Africa and China is playing a critical supporting role.

"The nexus between peace and security is too obvious to be elaborated here. Making the region free from the burden of war and conflict and ensuring peace and security remain the priority of all parties. The people of the region have suffered enough, and it's incumbent upon us to resort to a civilized, mature way of addressing our difficulties and differences," Hussein said.

He noted countries in the Horn need to employ different approaches to solve the challenges of poverty, drought, illegal immigration and refugees, terrorism, climate change, internal displacements and the consequences of war.

Xue emphasized the notable potential of the region, which is home to about 300 million people, as an intersection of eastern and western civilizations with a unique geographical location and abundant natural endowment.

However, he said the peace and development of the region have been challenged in recent times, which necessitates building lasting regional stability. As a result, China put forth the Outlook on Peace and Development in the Horn of Africa early this year based on the region's reality and past experience.

"The outlook is aimed at supporting countries in the region steer clear of external interference, respond to the triple challenges of security, development and governance and realize peace, development and prosperity," Xue said.

He said China is convinced countries in the Horn have the critical resolution to seek strength through solidarity and the political wisdom to resolve differences through dialogue and consultation.

He also reiterated China's readiness to contribute its share to the peaceful development of the Horn of Africa alongside the implementation of the "Nine Programs" that were made at the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in November last year.

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