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AU Boundaries: Germany to spend 18m euros to enhance peace, security

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The German government has promised to commit 18 million euros to enhance peace, security in the Africa Union Border Programme (AUBP).

Mr Ludwig Kirchner, ECOWAS Cluster Coordinator of Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit’ (GIZ) said this on Tuesday in Abuja at a workshop on the Regional Review and Planning of the AUBP.

He said the 18 million euros support to the AUBP would be at the continental, regional and member state levels through another three-year phase from 2020 to 2022.

Kirchner said the move had become imperative to promote peace, security and stability as well as the socioeconomic development of cross border areas in the West African Region.

He said at the three-day event, organised by the National Boundary Commission in collaboration with GIZ, that with the fourth phase Germany would like to renew its political commitment and support the joint management of African common borders.

Kirchner said in spite of AU members’ effort, it was clear that the major challenge facing the region remained the absence of synergy between different stakeholders in the area of border security and the development of border regions.

“Therefore, on behalf of GIZ, I want to congratulate you for holding this meeting which will help strengthen your consultation, coordination and joint efforts,’’ he said.

He maintained that the workshop was an opportunity to discuss the achievements, lessons learnt and challenges of the border management as well as the GIZ’s support in the past 10 years.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the AUBP was established during the 8th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Governments of the AU held in Addis Ababa in January 2007.

The secretariat was then mandated to pursue programmes aimed at structural prevention of conflicts and establish the AUBP.

However, AUBP was developed to use borders as vectors to promote peace, security, stability and to improve and accelerate integration through effective governance of borders.

Also, the AU Convention on Cross Border Cooperation held in Naimey, Niger Republic, in 2012 formed the legal framework for cross border cooperation.

GIZ support for the AUBP has so far culminated in the construction of 20 standard primary pillars, 88 international boundary pillars and eight solar-powered boreholes for some Nigerian border communities.

Edited by Hawa lawal/Donald Ugwu

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