Working together to prevent humanitarian crises: Foreign Minister Gabriel visits the African Union
Enlarge image 02.05.2017: Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel with Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat (© Photothek)
Foreign Minister Gabriel met with African Union representatives in Addis Ababa to discuss how the threat of famine in the region can be averted. Gabriel believes the organisation plays a key role in shaping Africa’s future.
During his trip to the Horn of Africa, Foreign Minister Gabriel on Tuesday (2 May) met with representatives of the African Union. In Addis Ababa, where the organisation’s headquarters is located, Gabriel held talks with the current Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat. After the meeting, Gabriel said that “we can only avert the threat of famine by working together.” He went on to say that “we need a strong African Union.” He also pointed out that, to solve conflicts around the world, modern Africa must be given a seat at the table. Gabriel therefore extended an invitation to Faki to participate in the G20 Summit in Germany.
Mobilising humanitarian aid
In view of the threat of famine in the Horn of Africa, Foreign Minister Gabriel travelled to the region to mobilise additional humanitarian aid and gain a first-hand impression of the situation on the ground. His talks with Chairperson Moussa Faki also focused on the current humanitarian crises. Besides the Horn of Africa, the Lake Chad region is experiencing acute shortages, as well. Yesterday, during a visit to Somalia, Gabriel pledged to provide an additional 70 million euros to help avert the threat of famine.
For weeks now, Germany has been working to mobilise international aid. Foreign Minister Gabriel and Development Minister Müller have issued an appeal to the international community with the Berlin Humanitarian Call, urging that action be taken before time runs out.
Preventing crises and conflicts
As the international organisation that comprises all states on the African continent, the African Union is key to preventing crises and conflicts. This is why Germany supports the AU in its efforts to develop its own instruments for promoting peace, democracy and growth.
While in Addis Ababa, Gabriel also met in the afternoon with the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn. As a regional power in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia plays an important role for maintaining stability in the region. It also participates in several AU and UN peace missions. That said, international observers are concerned about the domestic situation in the country. Therefore Foreign Minister Gabriel encouraged Prime Minister Desalegn to engage in talks with the opposition and tackle much-needed reforms. After the meeting, Gabriel met with representatives of civil society and members of opposition parties.