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AU chief urges media to preach peace

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The Chairperson of the AU Commission, Dr Jean Ping, on Wednesday urged African media to preach the virtues of

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The Chairperson of the AU Commission, Dr Jean Ping, on Wednesday urged African media to preach the virtues of peace and dangers of war.

 

Ping made the call when he declared open a three-day High-Level Media Workshop on African Peace and Security Architecture organised by the Commission.

"It is obvious that conflicts hinder the economic and social progress of our continent. The media, particularly in Africa, have a major role to play in preaching the virtues of peace and warning on the dangers of war.

"Indeed, the media occupy a key position in the transmission of information to Africans and to the outside world,’’ Ping said.

He said promotion of peace involved the extension of the APSA to the African people, and that all African citizens should have easy access to the knowledge of the continental instruments for the promotion and maintenance of peace.

He said the workshop was organised to provide an avenue for African media representatives to discuss with relevant experts on how the AU and APSA functions.

"AU will like to improve the understanding of the media on its activities across the four pillars of the Commission which include peace and security, regional integration, institutional capacity building and shared values.

"We are willing to express our expectations and plans and be partners in the promotion of peace and security in our continent,’’ Ping said.

Ping was represented by Mrs. Tumusiime Rhoda, AU Commissioner for Rural economy and Agriculture.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, Maj.-Gen. Samaila Iliya (retd), Director, Africa Standby Force, said the workshop was aimed at bringing the message of peace and security to journalists and seeking their support on actions being carried out by the AU and APSA.

Iliya said it would also provide an opportunity for African media to find a common ground for cooperation with the AU especially on security issues on the continent.

NAN reports that more than 60 media representatives drawn from across Africa are attending the workshop.

In a related development Ping has asked Liberians and other stakeholders to maintain "electoral maturity" during the second round of Presidential election in the country.

A statement in Addis Ababa by the Commission’s Peace and Security Department quoted Ping as saying that sustaining the laudable display of electoral maturity by Liberians would facilitate the successful holding of the run-off of the Presidential election slated for Nov. 8.

"Liberian stakeholders must do everything in their power to sustain this laudable display of electoral maturity and, therefore, facilitate the successful holding of the run-off, so as to further consolidate the tremendous progress made by Liberia in terms of recovery and peace building,’’ the statement said.

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