Decrying a return to fighting in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, German President Horst Koehler Saturday urged all African nations to put an end to their disputes, dpa reports.
"This must have an end," said Koehler, speaking at the German- sponsored fourth Africa Forum in the Nigerian capital of Abuja. He said the news from DR Congo was "particularly disappointing."
As the forum met, the leaders of DR Congo and Rwanda were at a meeting in Kenya to try to negotiate an end to the fighting in eastern DR Congo.
Koehler noted that civilians bore the brunt of the impact of Africa's battles. Speaking from prepared comments, he said a self- aware Africa with equal rights for all must live up to its responsibility to guarantee "security and peace on its own continent."
He called on African leaders to pursue more transparent politics and to ensure that the profits from raw material mining benefited the entire population. At the same time, he urged European leaders to seek international trade mechanisms that factor in the needs of Africa.
That would include an "international raw materials strategy, that gives all exporters of raw materials a fair chance to participate in the market," he said. Koehler is a past president of the International Monetary Fund.
The Africa Forum is an initiative of Koehler's. By bringing together African and European business and political leaders, it is designed to build up greater understanding between the two continents. Koehler has been at the forum since Friday.