The 56th anniversary of the birth of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), precursor of the African Union, is being celebrated across the world.In connection with the Africa Day, AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat on Saturday said it is here in Addis Ababa, following a protracted and heated debate, that the Heads of State and Government of 32 newly independent African states created the OAU.
After centuries of domination, oppression, enslavement and slave exploitation, Africa woke up and became aware of its strength and the underlying force behind that strength: its dignity in unity, he noted.
According to him, there are, however, still many hurdles to overcome before Africa’s independence and unity fully blossom. “This would only come about when every African lives in peace, has free access to quality universal education, to full physical and mental health, to decent and remunerative job, to social and cultural development, to good democratic governance in the strict respect of his fundamental rights.”
The theme of the day, “Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa”, in itself sufficiently demonstrates the acuteness of our challenges and the urgent and imperative need to work together to ensure to all African citizens the inalienable right to live free, dignified and be productive.
Mahamat pointed out that it is needless to recall on this great day the primary duty of all African states to guarantee these fundamental and inalienable rights.
The humanitarian organizations which I commend and thank for the assistance they continue to provide to the African refugees and returnees are called upon to redouble their efforts.