By Fortune Abang
The African Union (AU) Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) has underscored the need for African leaders to use dialogue to achieve “Silence the Guns” goal in Africa.
ECOSOCC is an advisory body of the African Union (AU) designed to give civil society organisations a voice within AU institutions and decision-making processes.
Dr Tunji Asaolu, 1st Nigerian Representative of the 3rd Permanent General Assembly of AU-ECOSOCC, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.
NAN reports that “Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020″ is an AU campaign aimed at promoting prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in Africa.
Asaolu said that an effective engagement would be a proper mechanism to use in resolving the challenges surrounding the inability of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to reach a compromise after nine years on issues that surround the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
According to him, Ethiopia announced they want to fill up the Dam near the blue Nile of Egypt, saying it is a project that the country needed to solve its electricity problem.
Asaolu said: “I think their issue still boils down to negotiation; the River Nile in Cairo, Egypt serves a lot of purpose, it is the one supplying to Sudan and Egypt.
“What Egypt is saying is, if Ethiopia is filling its Dam and serving for that electricity project, it will pose risks, not only for Egypt, but others.
“Egypt depends on that water and that is what they are using for drinking, agriculture and so many things, so the solution still boils down to effective negotiation.
“Egypt had also called on the United Nations Peace and Security Council to also look into it, they may be right, but it is something that can also be solved within the level of AU.
“The three countries must dialogue and negotiate to silence the guns completely; African leaders must prioritise dialogue and negotiations to avoid further trigger of another gun.”
He noted that although Africa leaders yearn to achieve development, but failure to engage dialogue to resolve issues could pull down effort to achieve the continental goal.
In the same vein, he stressed the need for mutual relationship among member states in the continent, as way forward to liberate the continent.
“We should see ourselves as one, you cannot be building and the same time scattering, we are seeing Agenda 2063 which is talking about Africa we want.
“We must build an Africa where citizen have rights of occupancy and not people attacking each other. Therefore the need for African leaders to work closely together, to realise agenda-2063,” he added.
NAN reports that Agenda 2063 is Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming the continent into the global powerhouse of the future.