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Dear readers,

It is my pleasure to share with you this seventh edition of the African Union (AU) Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) newsletter. In this editorial, I would like to recall the AU 50th Anniversary Solemn Declaration in which Heads of State and Government pledged to silence the guns and end all wars by 2020, as part of efforts to promote an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa

The value of this target is in mobilising AU member states to make progress towards achieving the end of ‘all wars in Africa’ making it a collective responsibility of African states to prioritize people’s participation in political and economic processes, promote sound and equitable livelihoods, and reduce violence at all levels of society.

In fulfilment of this, the AU Peace and Security Council convened an open session (430th meeting) under the theme ’Silencing the guns: prerequisites for realising a conflict-free Africa by the year 2020’ and further called for the preparation of a road map to underpin actions necessary for the attainment of the goal of a conflict-free Africa by 2020.

This roadmap will guide the fulfilment of this mandate through focusing on initiatives and practical steps for silencing the guns by 2020. In this issue, you will find mention of continued progress of the AU DDR program, which is one output of the roadmap, its continuous engagement and support to Member States on DDR and Security Sector Reform (SSR), both of which are crucial element of stabilization and recovery interventions.

With continued AU engagement with Member States on DDR initiatives, we see progress being made in the signing and implementation of peace agreements, whilst also looking at long term reintegration and development efforts which include right sizing of the armed forces and involvement in community based programs to ensure sustainability.

I sincerely hope that our readers, will enjoy this seventh edition and find the information captured both insightful and informative.

Best Wishes
H.E. Amb. Smail Chergui
Commissioner, Peace and Security,
African Union Commission

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Posted by Marsden Momanyi

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