Addressing the United Nations General Assembly at its annual high-level debate, Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger warned Thursday against attempts to balkanize Africa and underscored that the post-2015 sustainable development agenda need to be anchored in the “three D’s”: defense, democracy and development.
“The Pandora box of balkanization that is open in Africa needs to be closed again if one does not want the whole continent to go up in flames,” said Issoufou, the first of several African leaders to address the General Debate of the 69th Assembly.
“The future of Africa is in its unity. The move beyond the borders inherited from colonization is not to create new borders along ethnic or religious bases but to go beyond the current boundaries via integration,” he added.
Africa will be the continent of the 21st century with a strong middle class born out of good policy and economic governance that eases poverty through income distribution, the president noted.
The leader of the West African country highlighted conflicts in neighboring Libya, Mali and Nigeria. He warned the international and local communities that it would be dangerous to let the insecurity grow instead of helping to bring about a peace, and called for a strategy that cuts off financing and blocks a terrorist strategy that uses propaganda heavily covered by the press and social media.
In his address, Mohamed Moncef Mazouki, president of Tunisia, said that his country was moving ahead with a peaceful democratic transition, though it and its people had lived for many years under despotism.
“We are trying to grapple with the counter-revolution with moderation and ending the residue of despotism.” he said, emphasizing that Tunisia is also initiating socio-economic development that will be in harmony with the environment and in line with the sustainable development goals of the U.N.
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