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General News
Kufuor, Merkel meet AU permanent representatives 10/16/2007
Accra, Oct. 5, GNA - The Chairman of the African Union, President John Agyekum Kufuor has condemned as "senseless" the killing of 10 African Union soldiers on peacekeeping duties in Sudan and expressed the Union''s condolences to the bereaved families.

In this regard, he has called on the United Nations to expedite action on the deployment of the Heavy Support Package to the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), as well as the deployment of the AU-UN Hybrid Force in Darfur.

A statement in Accra on Friday from the Press Secretariat of the Office of the President, said President Kufuor made the condemnation when he addressed Permanent Representatives of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at which the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel was present.

He said that, Africa remained undaunted by "the dastardly act" and would continue to assume its responsibilities to establish peace, security and development on the continent.

President Kufuor expressed regret that in spite of the tremendous strides Africa was making in the areas of politics, economics, governance, conflict resolution and management, peace and security had not been achieved as some countries such as Sudan, Somalia and Comoros were still in the grips of conflict.

He said it was Africa''s intention to use the forthcoming EU-AU Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, to explore opportunities for deepening its long-standing cooperation and partnership with the EU and stressed the need for all African countries and the organs of the AU to be invited without any conditions.

President Kufuor commended Germany for its support to Africa, adding that Chancellor Merkel''s visit had come at a crucial time when the continent was engaged in unprecedented political, social and economic transformation.

He said Africa could benefit from the experiences of the EU in its determined efforts to play its rightful role in the globalize world. President Kufuor said Germany and Chancellor Merkel continued to play highly significant roles in African matters and that under her double Presidency of the EU and the G8, African matters had been priority by both organizations.

"However, we remain painfully aware that much more has been promised in the past which has yet to be fulfilled," he said. The President said it was against that background that it was commendable that the G8 came up with far-reaching commitments for Africa and put in place concrete and implementation plans that could be monitored on how the promises could be realized by 2010.

Prof. Alpha Oumar Konare, Chairman of the AU Commission, expressed gratitude to the German Chancellor for her country''s continuous support to Africa, adding that Chancellor Merkel''s tour of some African countries highlighted her total commitment to the growth and development of the continent.Source:

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