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AU: Countries fighting terrorism spending too much on security

Peace and Security Commissioner Smail Chergui said the continent was focused on ending the conflict in Libya, Sudan and South Sudan and calling for the lifting of sanctions on Sudan and Zimbabwe.

FILE. Picture: AFP

ADDIS ABABA - The African Union (AU) on Monday said countries fighting terrorism, like Chad, spend up to 32% of their budgets on security.

Peace and security commissioner Smaїl Chergui said the continent was focused on ending the conflict in Libya, Sudan and South Sudan and calling for the lifting of sanctions on Sudan and Zimbabwe.

But terrorists are now targeting civilians and security agencies while moving south, including to areas in Mozambique.

Chergui said the AU wants cessation of hostilities in Libya, the United Nations arms embargo to be respected and all external interventions to stop immediately.

But he said terrorism was not subsided and the $400 million AU Peace Fund must now assist countries, like Chad and Niger.

“A country like Chad spends 32% of its budget on security and Niger is not far from that by cutting on the budget for health and education. I think that is not acceptable.”

Chergui said he hoped the transitional government of South Sudan would finally come into force when the remaining 20-day deadline arrives.

He said the heads of state were calling for the lifting of sanctions on Sudan and Zimbabwe to enable the much- needed economic growth.