Johannesburg - The African Union would spare no effort to try and resolve conflict in Mali and the Sahel region, newly-elected commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said on Monday.
"This crisis has the potential to spread across the region and even the continent," she said during the hand-over ceremony in Addis Ababa, according to a copy of her speech.
Dlamini-Zuma said the AU would continue to provide support to both Sudan and South Sudan, the Somali government, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Guinea Bissau.
She said peace and stability were a prerequisite for social, economic, and human development, and good governance.
"We must not forget that these pockets of conflict not only cause untold suffering, death and destruction, but also impede the social, political, and economic development of the rest of the continent."
She said the AU would discuss ways to improve co-operation and co-ordination with the United Nations.
"Conflict resolution, important as it may be, must be balanced with development, because the majority of our countries are stable and are developing. But if we neglect them, they may become unstable."
The common goal was to pull the continent from poverty and underdevelopment.
Africa should be united to ensure it was a force for global change. Dlamini-Zuma said the magnitude of the task did not escape her.