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Friday, 07 June 2013

Development goes hand-in-hand with peacemaking, EU official say

Poverty is aggravated by the absence of peace and security, so the EU should not only provide development aid to but also get actively involved in negotiating solutions to conflict, the EU special representative to the Horn of Africa, Alexander Rondos, said at a high-level conference on peacemaking and mediation.
Rondos stressed the EU should be more decisive in participating as a full-fledged actor in peacemaking processes and enhance its mediation capacity: “Since we are financing [development], we are shareholders and shareholders have a vote.”
Drawing on his experience in the Horn of Africa, Rondos said it is the only leverage that can be used in countries where the EU cannot use the prospect of an association agreement. Finding a solution in the Horn of Africa is even more complex as “we are beyond the day when it was fashionable to have a victory of one against the other, ” the special representative said.
The Horn of Africa - Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Sudan - is grappling with an overlay of conflicts and humanitarian challenges. The region is prone to droughts and food insecurity as well as territorial and interethnic disputes, making it one of the biggest recipients of development and relief aid.
In 2012, the EU launched, together with partners from over 30 countries, several humanitarian agencies and UN agencies, the Global Alliance for Resilience Initiative (AGIR) as a major long-term EU-led strategy for Africa's fragile Sahel region. AGIR is aimed to set out a roadmap to create seasonal social safety nets to strengthen the resilience of the most vulnerable who have too long been the victims of chronic malnutrition.

Source: Euractiv