The seventh edition of the Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa came to a climax in Senegal on Tuesday. The forum had witnessed several meetings and debates among experts and authorities with the aim of finding solutions to the violence caused by terrorism and conflicts in the region, as well as finding solutions to the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
US Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs, Robert Scott said "Over the past two years we see that is so broad when you try to create peace and stability within a country within a region, it goes everything from climate change to democracy, to accountable governance, to countering violent extremism by having children in schools, by having food security, all the way to the fight against terrorism which is very real."
Political instability in Mali, other countries, and its consequences for the peace in the region were among the topics discussed at the forum which opened on Monday.
Mali has struggled to contain an Islamic extremist insurgency since the 2012 coup.
Extremist rebels were forced from power in Mali's northern cities with the help of a French-led military operation, but they regrouped in the desert and began launching attacks on the Malian army and its allies.
"ECOWAS had all the responsibility, had decided, remember in the first instance, to give the Malian military authorities a roadmap, a roadmap that was to lead to the return of constitutional order. Unfortunately, this roadmap was postponed by a second coup d'état (in Mali) but ECOWAS did not give up, it did not desist, it did not abandon Mali because its responsibility was once again with Mali." Aissata Tall Sall, Senegalese Foreign Minister said.
Several leaders including South Africa president Cypril Ramaphosa, Niger President Mohamed Bazoum and African Union Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat attended the two-day forum.