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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

African Union calls for measures on
free movement of people and goods

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU-PSC) has called for necessary measures to promote free movement of people and goods in Africa.

The Council has reiterated that free movement of people, goods and services facilitates Africa’s regional and continental integration, according to an AU statement on Saturday. 

Chaired by Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda’s foreign minister, the latest meeting of the AU-PSC on Thursday deliberated and passed decisions on free movement of people and goods and its implications on peace and security in Africa.

The meeting at the headquarters of the pan-African bloc in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa recalled that the AU summit in Kigali, Rwanda, in July 2016 passed decision on the free movement of persons and on the African passport. 

The summit in Kigali urged all member states to adopt the African passport and to work closely with the AU Commission to facilitate the process towards the issuance at national level based on international, continental and national policies and continental design and specifications.

Commending AU member states that have signed and ratified all relevant AU instruments on free movement of people and goods, the Council called on other member states to do the same.

The Council urged member states to address all institutional and regulatory capacity gaps to have a common policy on free movement of people and goods.

It has stressed the need for AU member states to further enhance mutual trust, cooperation and collaboration in addressing related security challenges to prevent terrorist and criminal groups from taking advantages.

AU member states including, Benin, Ghana, Mauritius, Rwanda and Seychelles have already started to issue visas on arrival to fellow African citizens.

Commending these member states, the Council has urged others to also put in place measures to ensure the issuance of visas on arrival for African citizens while taking necessary security precautions. 

It underlines the need to ensure a phased approach in implementing AU policy decisions on free movement of people and goods, mindful of the variances in the legitimate security concerns of member states.

             

 

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