News – Africa news
The African Union (AU) is to send a mission to Haiti ”to offer sympathy and express solidarity of all the peoples of Africa to the Haitian people,” according to a declaration issued in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Tuesday as the 31 Jan-2 Feb. summit of African leaders rounded off.
No date has been given for the mission, but the leaders said it must be dispatched ”as soon as possible”.
They also requested the AU Commission chairperson to set up an ‘African Humanitarian Fund for Haiti’ to which all the 53 member states – as well as Africans in the Diaspora – are required to contribute.
In addition, the heads of state and government urged the AUC Chairperson to ”examine the modalities of establishing an African Humanitarian mechanism to provide a rapid response, in a coordinated, harmonised and efficient way, to serious humanitarian situations which occur in Africa and other parts of the world”.
Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake 12 January 2010 that left an estimated 150,000 people dead and parts of the Caribbean Island nation, especially the capital city of Port-au-Prince, in ruins.
With strong ties and age-old bonds uniting Africa and Haiti, several African states have contributed, in cash and kind, to Haiti’s relief efforts.
Giving a fillip to calls for the creation of a state in Africa for Haitians, Senegal and Liberia have taken the lead in offering to resettle Haitians willing to relocate to Africa, regarded as their (Haitians) motherland.
From Segun Adeyemi – Pana 02/02/2010