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International community should help Africa with border issues - Ban Ki-moon

3 December 2007 The international community should support efforts by the African Union to address border issues so that they will no longer be a potential source of disputes, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said.

“Since African countries gained independence, the borders – drawn during the colonial period in a context of rivalries between European countries – have been a recurrent source of conflict,” said the Secretary-General in a message to the Seminar on the Implementation of the African Union Border Programme, held in Djibouti on 1 December.

“The situation is particularly challenging in cases where strategic or natural resources are located in cross-border areas,” he said. “Demarcation of all borders between States before they become a source of conflict is thus an important preventive measure.”

The Secretary-General hailed AU efforts to address the issue, including through the adoption earlier this year of the Declaration on the African Union Border Programme which aims to conclude the delimitation and demarcation of African borders so that they may cease to be potential sources of problems.

The seminar should assist in the effort to determine the nature and scope of the resources required for such a venture. “I am convinced that the international community should assist the African Union in this endeavour,” said the Secretary-General, pledging the UN’s support.


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