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The Chairperson of the African Union Commission Chairperson, Mr. Jean Ping and his African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes counterpart, Dr. Graca Machel, have congratulated Sierra Leonean President Ernest Koroma for receiving the 2010 ACCORD African Peace Award.

According to a statement from the media partners of ACCORD, Africa Practice R&B, which was made available to our correspondent on Sunday, the African leaders maintained that the peace award had become an inspiration to African leaders.

The statement signed by ACCORDS' assistant manager, Mr. Charles Urhoboghara, quoted Ping as saying, 'Your experience shall remain as an inspiration to all Africans that, no matter what our challenges are, peace is achievable. We will continue to work with you as you focus on the reconstruction and development of your country, which is already beginning to show positive signs of growth.

'The people of Sierra Leone are beginning to reap the dividends of peace including among others, human security, which is a prerequisite for development.

We look forward to working with all of you in order to jointly Make Peace Happen.'

The statement added that Machel described Sierra Leone 'a good example of how peace can be achieved' and commended the African Union's initiative to make 2010 the Year of Peace and Security in Africa. She commended ACCORD for supporting the African Union's efforts to mobilize citizens at every level of society to play a part in making peace happen; saying 'peace will come to rest and stay in Africa.'

Established by a United Nations resolution in 1982, Peace Day provides a unified rallying point for Africa to show that peace is possible. The AU is working towards a day when all Africans can experience peace simultaneously; the cessation of hostilities in conflict zones will allow for humanitarian relief, such as vital food, water, mosquito nets and other emergency supplies, to be provided to people living in those areas.