UN chief addresses terrorism, South Sudan & Burundi in speech to AU

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a meeting of the Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa. On the right is Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Only development, good governance and respect for human rights can prevent terrorism, the UN Secretary-General has said.

Ban Ki-moon was speaking on Friday to the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The AU is holding its 26th summit which wraps up on Sunday.

Dianne Penn reports.

Mr Ban addressed the three items topping the Council's agenda: counter-terrorism, and the crises in South Sudan and Burundi.

He said terrorism and violent extremism are a growing threat in Africa, as represented by the reach of groups such as Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram and the Lord's Resistance Army.

The UN chief also expressed concern over the radicalization and recruitment of young people into these operations.

He hoped that the African Union will support his recently launched Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.

It calls for greater cooperation on border security and terrorist financing, among other recommendations.

Regarding South Sudan, Mr Ban said he was "deeply disappointed" that a transitional unity government was not established by the 22 January deadline.

The country has been in turmoil since a December 2013 political impasse between the President and his former deputy, which has led to scores of deaths and displaced millions.

On Burundi, Mr Ban commended AU efforts to quell violence that began in April 2014 following a controversial decision by the President to run for a third term.

The Secretary-General said he is convinced that Burundi "can be brought back from the brink," but this will require support from the international community.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’25″


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