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Military instability, famine and free trade highlighted at African Union summit

Security, free trade and hunger will dominate the 36th African Union summit, where the Portuguese prime minister, António Costa, and the UN secretary general, António Guterres, will be among the guests.


Until this Thursday, meetings of the heads of diplomacy are taking place in Addis Ababa, in which the Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs, João Gomes Cravinho, is taking part.

The summit of Heads of State and Government, between 18 and 19 February, will analyze a report on the activities of the Security Council (PSC) of the organization and the state of peace and security in Africa, as well as a strategic document on governance global political, financial and energy policy, to be presented by Senegalese President Macky Sall.

The military situation will also be in focus, after, last year, the governments of four member countries, Mali, Guinea-Conakry, Sudan and Burkina Faso, were suspended from the African Union (AU), following coups by State.

Issues related to the world food crisis, climate change and the continental free trade area are other strong themes at the summit, which will also elect Senegal's successor as president of the AU.

The situation in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, with tribal conflicts and the presence of an AU mission, will also be discussed, as the Kinshasa government accuses neighboring Rwanda of supporting the rebels.

Instability in the Central African Republic and Mali, where the Wagner Group, mercenaries supported by the Kremlin, and the crisis in northern Mozambique, the scene of attacks by Islamic extremists, are other themes associated with insecurity on the continent.

"We see, today, that there is a certain urgency in working, between Europeans and Africans, on various themes, especially in the area of peace and security, Gulf of Guinea, Sahel, Central African Republic, themes in which we are very involved and also very burning ones here at the African Union", João Gomes Cravinho told Lusa.

Currently, the African "security architecture" "is very fragile", acknowledged the minister, who had already met with the AU commissioner for Peace and Security, Bankole Adeoye.

From the commissioner, Cravinho heard the desire for "African solutions to African problems", but also the request for "support from countries like Portugal and institutions like the European Union" to peace efforts.

On the part of the Portuguese-speaking countries, the participation of the heads of state of Angola, João Lourenço, Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embaló, Cape Verde, José Maria Neves, and Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, is expected.

And the heads of diplomacy from Angola, Tete António, Guinea-Bissau, Suzi Chaves, Mozambique, Veronica Macamo, São Tomé and Príncipe, Alberto Pereira, and Equatorial Guinea, Simeón Oyono Esono will be present.


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