Namibia to participate in Pan-African conference on children and armed conflict

Deputy Head at the Permanent Mission of Namibia to the African Union (AU) Elvis Shiweda and First Secretary for Social and Humanitarian Affairs Souma Musilika are set to deliver a statement at the Pan-African Conference on Children and Armed Conflict scheduled to take place from the 15-17 October in the Ethiopian capital.

Shiweda told Nampa in a telephone interview from Addis Ababa that Namibia remains committed to addressing the root causes of war on the African continent.

He said although Namibia is not a conflict zone it is directly affected by spin-over effects of war on the continent.

Therefore the country will highlight the Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa as a reference point in discussions on the need for A.U. members to address the root causes of war, Shiweda said.

These include poverty, inequality and ethnic intolerance within and among member states of the A.U.

Peace and security is a collective effort; war does not restrict itself to a certain region, as a country we will address the root causes of war in order to support peace and post-conflict reconstruction, Shiweda further added.

Shiweda said as a member of the African Union (AU) the country has a responsibility to advocate for the Peace Agenda 2063 that calls for a silencing of the guns on the continent by 2020.

Shiweda told Nampa that Namibia hosts a number of refugees as a result of conflict on the continent therefore the country's voice should be heard at the international gathering.

He said it is important that the country support operations in implementing strategic approaches that would enhance accountability for violations against children.

These approaches are outlined in the Graca Machel Report which calls for amongst others the long-term reintegration and rehabilitation services for children affected by armed conflict.

The Graca Machel Report is one of the working documents on the impact of armed conflict on children that will be discussed at the conference.

Source: Namibia Press Agency