Selin ATAY-TDO-The drive to build a "strong" Africa enshrined in Agenda 2063 - the continents political, social and economic development blueprint - has been challenged by security problems, chair of the African Union Commission said.

"The complex nature of these conflicts requires reevaluation of the security doctrine on which the goal of 'silencing the gun' was established. We need an innovative and inclusive peace solution," Mahamat saidin his opening speech at the Council meeting of the African Union.

UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Executive Secretary Vera Songwe corroborated the concern, saying: "Compared to 2005 when there were only six countries in active conflict on the continent and seven armed conflicts, 15 years later and 10 years after the Union declared the need to silence the guns we have outperformed ourselves for the worse."

She said: "Today, our task is to raise a clarion call for the voiceless, for those maimed by the tools of war. Those scared by the violence it envelops humankind in. The cruelty it engenders in otherwise peaceful situations."

"The Agenda of securing peace and of silencing the guns must be dealt with in a comprehensive manner," Songwe said, adding: "To effectively silence the guns, African countries will have to ensure all gun imports into the continent are consistent with international practice and the governance systems around the circulation of arms on the continent is transparent."

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