(Xinhua) -- The African Union supports the
free movement of persons in the continent and will
continue working with regional economic blocs to achieve
the objective, an official said on Monday.
Simon Mulongo, deputy special
representative of the chairperson of the AU Commission
for Somalia, said the pan-African body is working with
various stakeholders to come up with mechanisms to
ensure free movement of persons across the continent.
A statement from the AU mission in
Somalia (AMISOM) said Mulongo was speaking in Mogadishu
during the launch of a four-day national consultations
workshop on free movement of persons by the
Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
Mulongo welcomed the IGAD’s
initiative, saying the move will help boost trade and
economic integration in the region.
The eight-member regional bloc is
currently working toward making the free movement of
persons a reality in the 5.2 million square km trade
The bloc said similar consultations
are also being held in other member states and once
finalized the views gathered will be used in formulating
the IGAD Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, aimed at
boosting trade and security in the region.
The trade bloc, which was established
in 1996 to supersede the Intergovernmental Authority on
Drought and Development, brings together Kenya,
Djibouti, Eritrea, South Sudan, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia
The workshop started on Sunday in the
Somali capital, Mogadishu.
Senior federal government officials of
Somalia, representatives of the federal member states,
civil society organizations, academia and members of the
international community attended the workshop.