AFRICA: SECAM urged to promote peace and good governance
The Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) has been urged to promote peaceful, fair and transparent elections in the continent.
Speaking on May 10 in Cotonou, Benin where he received a delegation of SECAM officials in his office, the Chair of the African Union (AU), Dr Thomas Yayi Boni said that this was in consonance with the spirit of the AU.
The SECAM delegation had paid a visit to the AU chair to request for an Observer Status for SECAM at the AU, which he promised to put on the Agenda of the next AU Summit that would take place in Malawi in July 2012.
Dr Boni who is also the President of Benin, promised to appeal to the Heads of African States to ratify the Africa Charter on democracy, elections and good governance that SECAM has been campaigning for.
He said that taking into consideration the immense contribution that the Church has made in the development of Africa in terms of education, agriculture, health and in other socio-economic and political spheres, he saw no reason why such a legitimate request would not be granted.
President Boni stressed that the Church and the states play complementary roles in the integral development of the people of Africa.
He also noted, lack of respect for religious and political differences, good governance, democracy and free and fair elections as some of the challenges confronting Africa.
He added that these issues have contributed to the Arab Spring in some countries in North Africa and clashes in Mali, Guinea Bissau and Nigeria.
The AU chair criticized the manner in which the United Nations Security Council and the countries that form the G20 handle African affairs.
He said this has resulted in the instability of North Africa thus affecting other Sub-Saharan African countries like Mali which is still grappling with the Touareg rebel menace and Nigeria with Boko Haram.
In a press statement sent to CISA by Benedict Assorow, Director of Communications of SECAM, the AU chair said that about 90 percent of matters that are discussed by the UN Security Council and other bodies are often on or about Africa, yet Africa is not part of the decisions that are taken on her behalf.
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