Africa: Angolan President Denounces Existence of 'Invisible Hand' Interested in Destabilizing Africa

A view of the flags outside the General Assembly building during the general debate in September 2023.

New York — Angolan President João Lourenço denounced Wednesday at the United Nations headquarters, in the United States of America, the "existence of an invisible hand interested in destabilizing the African continent".

The Angolan president, who made the remarks on the second day of the UN General Debate running until September 26, said there are increasing signs that these groups are only concerned with expanding their sphere of influence.

According to João Lourenço, the interests of these groups do not provide the "necessary guarantees for the economic and social development of the African countries.

In his speech, which lasted almost 25 minutes, the Angolan President considered it essential to reaffirm the need for adequate, sustainable and predictable funding to fight terrorism in the African continent.

João Lourenço said he considered it appropriate to renew the call to the United Nations, particularly the Security Council, to use fixed contributions for peace keeping operations mandated by the African Union.

"Recently, the SAHEL region was plagued only by the actions of terrorist groups reinforced by hired mercenaries, who, having found a power vacuum in Libya, settled there and expanded into neighbouring countries," Lourenço said.

In addition to this already dangerous situation, João Lourenço lamented the fact that, more or less in the same region, a wave of unconstitutional changes of power by the military is currently emerging.

"These new powers must not be rewarded with the possibility of sharing the same political stages with us, otherwise we will be sending out the wrong message, contrary to the principles we defend," the Angolan President said.

In recent years, Africa has faced various tribal, religious and military conflicts, as well as coups d'état that have slowed down the continent's progress, most notably in Western Sudan (Darfur), the conflict between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and South Sudan.

According to the Angolan statesman, the international community is concerned not only about the situation in the SAHEL countries, the Horn of Africa, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo, but also about the conflict in Sudan, which is causing a high number of deaths and injuries and destroying the country's infrastructure.

According to the Angolan Head of State, who is the current Acting Chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the conflict has caused countless internally displaced people and refugees and has already become one of the biggest humanitarian disasters in the world, whose consequences are being felt by neighbouring countries.

"The world cannot forget the suffering of the Palestinian people and, much less, ignore the need to resolve the conflict in the Middle East, especially the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, whose formula of two states living side by side in a peaceful manner has already been found by the United Nations years ago, but without any progress and it only needs to be implemented," Lourenço reminded.

From his point of view, the international community runs the risk of being accused of giving different, privileged treatment to the conflict in Europe to the detriment of others, because they are in the Middle East or Africa.

Jõao Lourenço stressed that the conflict in Sudan is just as deadly and destructive as the one in Ukraine, but deserves less coverage in the international media and less attention from the main decision-making towards world peace and security.

In another area of his speech, he argued that the war between Russia and Ukraine must be brought to an end immediately, given the levels of human and material destruction there, the risk of it escalating into a major conflict on a global scale and the impact of its harmful effects on energy and food security.

"All the evidence tells us that it is unlikely that there will be winners and losers on the battlefield, which is why the parties involved should be encouraged to prioritise dialogue and diplomacy as soon as possible, to establish a ceasefire and to negotiate a lasting peace not only for the warring countries, but which will guarantee the security of Europe and contribute to world peace and security," said the Angolan President.

This year, the General Debate is being held under the theme "Rebuilding Trust and Renewing Global Solidarity through Actions to Accelerate the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda to Achieve Peace, Prosperity, Progress and Sustainability for All".

The event discusses global issues such as climate change, sovereign debt relief and ways to help countries achieve the global goals, as well as the issue of conflicts, including Russia and Ukraine.

The initiative is being chaired by Ambassador Dennis Francis of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, who was elected to this rotating post on June 1, 2023, representing the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States.


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