Keep peace agenda as main priority, TZ urges

TANZANIA has appealed to member states of the Forum of Parliaments of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (FP-ICGLR) to keep the agenda of peace as a main priority, while finding the root cause of conflicts and insecurities in the region for their own prosperity.

Besides, they have been urged to come up with workable, amicable and long-term solutions to conflicts affecting the region.

Deputy Speaker of Tanzania National Assembly Mr Mussa Azzan Zungu extended the call in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday, as the Statutory Meeting of the Committee on Democracy and Good Governance of the FP-ICGLR convened for two days to deliberate on the current political, security and humanitarian situation in the Great Lakes Region.

“It is a fact that conflicts and insecurity come with a serious economic cost to the nations. These include damage to infrastructure, decline in the working population, inflation and disruption to normal economic activities,” said Mr Zungu.

He added: “It is self-evident that economic, social and environmental prosperity requires a large amount of cooperation and trust within and between societies. Without peace and security there can be no sustainable development.”

He, however, attributed the words of Tanzania Founding Father Mwalimu Julius Nyerere who once said ‘Violence is unnecessary and costly, peace is the only way’.

“As parliamentarians, we must find the root cause of conflicts and insecurities in our region, while focusing on the main objective for which the Forum was established…I believe together we can,” he noted.

Mr Zungu pointed out that some member states are currently facing insecurity and conflicts, which disrupt the way of life of citizens in those countries.

Thus, Tanzania as a country under the leadership of our President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan, believes that peace is the bedrock of development.

“Our basic idea is that peace, security and development cannot be separated, our people can only prosper if the country is peaceful. I am therefore hopeful that as you deliberate on this agenda you will take into account the aspirations of our people who we represent,” maintained the deputy speaker.

Meanwhile, Mr Zungu extended appreciation to their counterparts for supporting the candidature of Speaker Dr Tulia Ackson for the upcoming Presidential Election of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

“I was informed that, when you met in Kampala, Uganda you supported her candidacy and on her behalf, I want to thank you all for your invaluable support. This means a lot to her,” he said.

For his part, the Secretary General of the Forum, Ambassador Onyango Kakoba said it was high time now for all players in the region to work on supporting bringing peace in Eastern Congo and Sudan as the situation poses huge impacts economically, socially and politically.

“We are meeting here today to fulfill our obligations outlined in the Inter-Parliamentary Agreement which established this Forum. We all know that the main objective of this Forum is to bring significant parliamentary contributions to the implementation of the Pact on security, stability and development in the Great Lakes Region as signed by Heads of States in December 2006,” said Ambassador Kakoba. The Biharamulo Legislator and member of the FP-ICGLR Eng Ezra Chiwelesa,  called for national leaders in the region to join forces and ensure that the conflicts come to an end, so as to enable the nations to be at peace and reduce social and economic burdens that countries and people are carrying due to conflicts.

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