3 July 2017

North Africa: Nigeria Brokers Peace Between Morocco, Saharawi

Nigeria yesterday successfully brokered peace between Morocco and Saharawi Democratic Republic (SDR) on the wordings of the report of the human Rights abuses between the two countries.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that mediation took place barely a day after Nigeria assumed the leadership of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) at the 31st Executive Council meeting of the 39th AU Summit in Addis Ababa.

Geoffrey Onyeama, Nigeria's Minister of Foreign Affairs, who led the peace team, told newsmen that Nigeria's leadership of the PSC in peace and conflict came at the right time.

"The invitation for Nigeria to mediate in the crisis with Morocco and SDR is the new confidence that the AU has in Nigeria and to call on her to play a bigger role in the organisation.

"We are going to do just that; we have this responsibility and we are going to assert it to the benefit of the continent."

The minister explained further that Morocco had threatened to block the work of the Executive Council meeting of the AU because the council could not arrive at an agreement on the report of an evaluation mission to the SDR.

"We could not arrive at any agreement because those who were supporting Morocco stuck to their positions and wanted to see the paragraph removed while those for SDR wanted it to stay.

"Nigeria agreed to mediate and we met with the representatives of the two countries, and we were able to find an acceptable solution and the council of ministers were very relieved.

"We were able to get them to agree to the text the council proposed to them.

"It was not easy to get both countries to agree but it is very important for the organisation because, we have to look at the bigger picture," Onyeama said.

Meanwhile, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Acting President is expected to attend the 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU on Monday July 3.

Onyeama said Osinbajo would address the meeting mostly on the institutional reforms and the issue of financing the AU.

"We want to reform African Union and there is a proposal already on the table especially on how to finance the union.

"Nigeria is one of the key contributors to the union and of course the acting president will be engaged in the whole issues that concern ECOWAS including issues of finance and institutional reform," he said.

Nigeria

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