MenEngage Africa is deeply concerned about the ongoing crises in Burundi and South Sudan where political violence and conflict threatens the stability of both nations and the lives of its citizens, particularly placing women and children at extreme risk of harm, as is typical in conflict settings. We place our hope for solutions to these two crisis zones in Africa on the African Union (AU) Summit taking place this week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As heads of states from around the continent meet for this annual gathering, we call upon leaders to take decisions that will result in interventions that will steer the two countries away from a path of full-scale wars and political disintegration that will lead to continued loss of lives and human suffering. Thus, we support the attached Open Letter penned by some of Africa’s esteemed defenders of human rights appealing to the AU and all African heads of state to respond appropriately to the crises in the two countries.
The letter reads, in part: “This is a grave test of AU credibility, and of the continent’s ability to solve its own problems. Failure to act now would dent the reputation of the institution and those at its helm, and constitute a betrayal of the ordinary civilians in both countries whose lives are gravely affected by continuing violence and a lack of accountability. It is critical that the AU’s decisions on Burundi and South Sudan are implemented immediately, in order to fulfill our collective commitment to prevent crimes against humanity and assist those at risk of grave harm. Vested interests and political allegiances cannot be allowed to prevail”.
Read the full letter on the Daily Maverick’s website here.