ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary General Ban Ki- moon urged here the Africa continent and the international community to make joint effort to "bring greater stability to Africa" at the opening ceremony of the 20th AU Summit on Sunday Morning.
"Development is critical to peace, and peace is essential for development...Our partnership aims to bring greater stability to Africa," said Ban.
At least 36 African heads of state and government as well as delegates from various regional and international organizations attended the opening ceremony of the summit.
The summit, themed "PanAfricanism and Africa Renaissance", was held under a backdrop that regional conflicts have drawn worldwide concerns, especially the escalation of the Mali crisis.
Addressing the Mali crisis, Ban said, "I welcome the timely bilateral assistance to the Malian army in response to the government's request."
"As ECOWAS speeds up preparations to deploy AFISMA, I encourage the Malian authorities to embrace a comprehensive political process. This includes agreeing on a roadmap leading to the full restoration of constitutional order," said Ban.
Under the UN mandate, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is to organize a military mission, the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA), to help the Malian government restore peace by retaking its northern region occupied by al-Quida-backed groups of rebels.
The ECOWAS has pledged to send more than 3,000 troops and some other nations from the African continent also committed support to the operations in Mali, where the French forces are backing the Malian army in the last two weeks in the war against the rebels. They have retaken several major towns from the rebels in northern Mali already.
While addressing the current situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ban said the UN is considering establishing a peace enforcement capacity with the UN mission MONUSCO to address the threat of the armed groups in eastern DRC.
The MONUSCO ( the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) is mandated by the UN Security Council to protect civilians, humanitarian personnel and human rights defenders under imminent threat of physical violence and to support the government of DRC in its stabilization and peace consolidation efforts.
When speaking about Sudan and South Sudan, Ban said he is "especially concerned about the dangerous humanitarian situation in Southern Kordofan and Bule Nile States." "I call on the authorities in Sudan and South Sudan to immediately begin direct talks to allow urgently needed humanitarian assistance to reach affected civilians."
And on the situation in Somalia, Ban said that later this month, he will present recommendations to the UN Security Council on a New UN presence in Somalia, including ways to strengthen the UN-AU partnership on the ground.
He also said he will "work to secure urgently needed funding for AMISOM (the African Union Mission in Somalia)."
The multinational forces of the mission are fighting the Al- Shabaab rebels in Somalia and successfully ensured the re- establishment of the Somalian government last year.