The Citizen (Tanzania)
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Addis Ababa. Smaal Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, has congratulated the government and people of Zambia for successfully hosting the Retreat of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) in Lusaka, Zambia.

The Commissioner has specifically expressed appreciation and praise to Zambian President Edgar Lungu for opening the Retreat held on Nov. 7-9 and interacting with participants, said an AU statement on Sunday.

The Commissioner further appreciated the commitment given to the Council by the President, to champion the implementation of the master roadmap on practical steps to silence the guns in Africa by 2020, which was a key outcome of the Retreat.

The Commissioner reiterated that silencing the guns by 2020 is a key priority for the first ten-year implementation plan of the AU Agenda 2063, and therefore expressed appreciation to the PSC for seizing the opportunity of the Retreat to elaborate practical steps that could be taken by all stakeholders to achieve the onerous task. The Retreat comes at a critical juncture when Africa and its people are deploying strenuous efforts to eradicate the root causes of conflict, combat terrorism and violent extremism, against the backdrop of other peace and security challenges such as the continued illicit inflow of small arms and light weapons into Africa, drug and human trafficking, piracy and climate change among others, according to the pan-African bloc.

The Commissioner has thanked all those who contributed to the success of the Retreat, including the representatives of the regional economic communities, Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution, the Committee on Intelligence and Security Services of Africa and the Economic, Social and Cultural Council.(Xinhua)