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Coups: Jonathan leaves for Kenya to attend AU meeting



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FORMER President Goodluck Jonathan will on Saturday set for Nairobi, Kenya to attend the 12th African Union (AU) High-Level Retreat on the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa.

The three-day event would be attended by High Representatives, Special Envoys, and Special Representatives of the Chairperson of the Commission (SRCC).

In a statement issued at the weekend by Special Adviser to Jonathan on Media, Ikechukwu Eze, in Abuja, participants would brainstorm on possible ways to improve the impact of ongoing mediation efforts across the continent.

Jonathan is the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Special Envoy for Mali and also Chairman of the ECOWAS Council of the Wise.

The high-level retreat is considered one of AU’s key continental initiatives designed to improve pragmatic efforts in addressing conflicts in Africa. It is themed ‘Improved Coordination and Harmonization for Impactful Mediation.’

The programme “will also provide participants an opportunity to reflect, take stock and review ongoing mediation efforts in the evolving conflict context on the continent, towards better coherence for more sustained impact.

“The retreat will, in addition, offer insights and exchanges by mediation practitioners on emerging policy and practice as it relates to inclusivity, particularly of women, youth, and civil society,” the statement read in part.

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Established in 2010 during the Africa Year of Peace and Security, the retreat has become the leading forum for the Special Envoys, High Representatives and Special Representatives of the Chairperson of the Commission (SRCCs); ‘’and mediators working in Africa to share experiences and best practices in the areas of conflict prevention, peacebuilding and peacemaking.”

According to the spokesperson the retreat had over the years strategically engaged with timely, contextual, and challenging issues, with greater emphasis on strengthening mediation capacity and collaboration on the continent.

It is worthy of note that some states in the African continent have witnessed political instability including rising insecurity.

On the night of May 24, 2021, the Malian Army allegedly led by Vice President Assimi Goita took over the government in Mali, capturing President Bah N’daw, Prime Minister Moctar Ouane, and the Minister of Defence Souleymane Doucoure.

Earlier was the Sudan coup where seven persons were reportedly killed and about 140 injured during a protest against the military takeover.

In September, the Guinea special forces announced a nationwide curfew in a coup action against the politically elected government.

The gradual return of military coups is becoming a concern to regional governments and the international community.

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This, for instance, led to AU suspension of Sudan over the coup until a civilian-led transitional government takes over the government.

The United States government and United Nations have particularly thrown their weights behind the demonstrators who are calling for a return to normal civilian rule.

Many Nigerians in 2015 applauded Jonathan for accepting defeat following the presidential election which brought President Muhammadu Buhari to office.

The move is largely considered a peace effort that prevented a nationwide conflict and political destabilisation.

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