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September 21st is International Peace Day, a day devoted to peace and to end wars and violent conflicts.

However, peace is more than just achieving a war-free world. Peace is about economic independence and security. It is about a world free of sexual violence. It is about having universal education and health care services especially to young girls and women.

Peace is about social and political cohesion. It is about respecting and celebrating diversity in our continent and the world at large.

Thirty years after the UN General Assembly declared International Peace Day, Africa has taken major strides towards achieving a continent at peace with itself, its communities and the world.

Progress is possible because African women and men are putting their lives on the line to protect African citizens and maintain peace and security.

We therefore pay tribute to our African Peacekeepers and peacekeepers the world over, some of whom have lost their lives, while others have been seriously injured.

Last year on Peace Day, our vision for peace was challenged and compromised when terrorists attached the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya killing least 67 innocent people and leaving over 175 wounded.

We will continue to fight terrorism in all its forms, including the kidnapping of innocent school students.

As we celebrate this international peace day, our hearts go to those who have lost their lives in the battlefield, as well as in the Ebola epidemic currently plaguing an important part of our continent.

In the spirit of Ubuntu, we have deployed our young men and women together with much needed medical and humanitarian assistance to stop the spread of the disease and its far-reaching social, economic and political consequences in the region and the entire continent.

We will remain steadfast in our quest for peace and prosperity in an integrated continent.

Happy International Peace Day!

 

H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma

Chairperson

African Union Commission

Posted by Messay
Last updated by Limi Mohammed

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