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Strengthen AU for Africa’s stability: Zuma
October 3, 2013, 8:49 am


The South African leader also reiterated calls for Africa to have a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council [GCIS]

South African President Jacob Zuma has expressed his backing for a stronger African Union as the continent is left shaken by the recent terror attack on Kenya in which members of a Somali armed group attacked and killed dozens at a Nairobi shopping mall.

“We have also discussed the need to strengthen the African Union to ensure that it plays its role effectively to promote socio-economic development and peace and stability in the continent,” President Zuma said after a meeting with Senegalese President Macky Sall.

The South African leader also reiterated calls for Africa to have a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council.

Zuma’s statement comes in the backdrop of a renewed warning by the Somali al-Shabab group to Kenya on Tuesday of new attacks if it did not pull troops from Somalia.

The Kenyan president said he would not be bullied into withdrawing his soldiers, who are part of an African peacekeeping force.

The South African president had signalled that his country would back Kenyan efforts in Somalia, saying terrorism from any quarter will not be condoned.

“South Africa continues to support Kenya’s and the international community’s efforts aimed at peacekeeping, stability, democracy and nation-building in Somalia,” Zuma said in a statement earlier.

Zuma also expressed support for the future mission of the new military force for the African Union, the African Immediate Crisis Response Capacity (AICRC).

Meanwhile, Zuma spoke to the Senegalese leader about the developments of the BRICS Bank, which he said would aid African infrastructure.

The two leaders “exchanged views on the progress of implementation of one of the key outcomes of the fifth BRICS Summit held in Durban, namely the agreement to establish a common Development Bank which would, inter alia, support infrastructure development efforts in Africa”, said a statement.

Zuma also signed cooperation agreements in agriculture and arts and culture with Senegal during a state visit to the west-African country.

South Africa and Senegal needed to contribute more to the building of stronger regional economic communities, which were the building blocks of the African Union, Zuma said.

“Both of us are also only too aware of the importance of investing in infrastructure development on the continent so that we can better promote regional economic integration, intra-Africa trade and tourism,” said the president.

The BRICS Post