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AU commissioner for peace and security Ramtane Lamamra was speaking to journalists at the sideline of the 10th Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA) conference held in Harare.
He asserted that natural resources centred conflicts involve “especially actors from outside the continent.”
“When you look thoroughly at each one of the conflicts that the continent has gone through you will find that natural resources are always at the heart part of it whether acknowledged publicly or its part of the hidden agenda,” Lamamra said.
The AU has stressed on the need for Africa to come up with strategies to stem natural resources centred conflicts.
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe urged CISSA on Monday to prepare for fresh onslaughts by the continent’s former colonizers to grasp its natural resources.
“Our erstwhile colonizers continue to manipulate international institutional and conventions to justify unilateral military interventions in African states with the objective of extracting and unfairly exploiting our resources,” Mugabe said.
Formed in 2004, CISSA is an arm of the African Union mandated with providing the continent with security information.
The theme for this year’s one-week conference, held until May 8, is “The Role of Security Services in Protecting Africa’s Natural Resources and Future Economic Development”.
Congo boasts about $24 trillion worth of minerals such as gold, diamond, tin, uranium and coltan that amounts to the combined GDP of Europe and US, one of the members attending the meet, Rungano Zvobgo, head of Masvingo university in southern Zimbabwe noted at the conference.
Zimbabwean state media have said President Robert Mugabe, AU chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma are expected to attend the conference whose resolutions will be presented to heads of state at the African Union summit.