Nigeria

Ex-President Jonathan departs Abuja for Kenya to attend AU high-level retreat on mediation

President Goodluck Jonathan

Immediate past President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, will depart Abuja on Saturday for Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, to attend the 12th African Union (AU) High-Level Retreat on the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa.

A statement Ikechukwu Eze, the Special Adviser to the Ex-president on Media, said Jonathan would be attending the three-day retreat which was designed for High Representatives, Special Envoys and Special Representatives of the Chairperson of the Commission.

He said the event aimed at getting participants to brainstorm on ways of improving the impact of ongoing mediation efforts across the continent.

Jonathan is the Economic Community of West African States Special Envoy for Mali and also Chairman of the ECOWAS Council of the Wise.

According to the statement, the event would bring together the Chairperson of the Commission, senior Kenyan Government officials, as well as representatives of AU member states, regional organisations, international agencies and AU organs.

“It will also provide participants with an opportunity to reflect, take stock and review ongoing mediation efforts in the evolving conflict context on the continent, towards better coherence for more sustained impact.

“The retreat will, in addition, offer insights and exchanges by mediation practitioners on emerging policy and practice as it relates to inclusivity, particularly of women, youth and civil society”, it added.

Eze noted that the background information provided by the AU described the annual high-level retreat as one of the key continental body’s initiatives for improving impact in addressing conflict situations in Africa.

Established in 2010 during the Africa Year of Peace and Security, the retreat has become the leading forum for the Special Envoys, High Representatives and Special Representatives of the Chairperson of the Commission.

It is for mediators working in Africa to share experiences and best practices in the areas of conflict prevention, peacebuilding and peacemaking, Eze said.

He added that over the years, the retreat had strategically engaged with timely, contextual and challenging issues, with a particular emphasis on strengthening mediation capacity and collaboration on the continent.

Eze said that the theme of the retreat in 2020 was: “The future of mediation in Africa: Towards silencing the Guns: Lessons and Opportunities from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

The High-Level retreat would be focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the African continent and the implications for peacemaking and peacebuilding.

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