Monday, December 6, 2021

Africa should not be allowed to descend into chaos and anarchy again

For many parts of the African continent, the guns are back at work.

Many Africans wake up on a daily basis to the noise of these guns.

For those from a previous generation, many of who would no doubt have lived through the war, the noise is a constant reminder of a bad history many would rather forget.

In several other parts of the continent, the guns have never really gone quiet; these are in the Sahel region across the Sahara, in the Horn of Africa across the Somali areas, in the Great Lakes especially east DRC in the Goma region and most recently in North Mozambique.

Much of Central Africa has not known peace that is taken for granted elsewhere.

But it is the raging war in Chad that has killed a sitting Head of State that is particularly ominous.

A lot is at stake.

Years of peace, recovery and building could be wiped out overnight.

Security and stability are crucial for progress.

Security and stability are crucial for development.

War is a source of poverty and all the evils related to poverty; illiteracy, rape, destitution.

War undermines not just progress, but also human rights.

Africa is yet to recover from decades of civil wars and coups.

But there was already clear progress. And Africans were at last beginning to reap the peace dividends.

The covid-19 pandemic will come at immense cost to Africa.

And it now looks like Africans will have to contend with one but two pandemics being the covid-19 and also the civil wars.

Independence came at immense cost to Africa. Countries like the DRC are yet to truly know peace since the 1960s when the first Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba was assassinated.

Africa has not had time to consolidate because of poverty and corruption.

Democratic institutions remain weak. For manty countries, when elections are held, they are only a window dressing to legitimse the incumbent regime.

But a break out of war in Chad recently has been particularly worrisome.

It is a direct result of instability in Libya. Which is causing am implosion in neighboring states to the south that had long been theatres of a low intensity instabilities.

It is clear that Africa is sliding into war, lawlessness and anarchy.

Leaders of Thabo Mbeki’s mettle that worked so hard to achieve peace throughout most of Africa have become rare today.

The transition from Organisation of African Unity into African Union coincided at the time with Africa as it emerged from the doldrums of war.

Many in countries that were emerging from war had not known any other life.

Some were reluctant to even accept that peace would bring progress. They were too attached to the war economy.

To dodge the bullet, Africa will need a lot more than just luck.

There is need for pragmatic leaders that are committed to their people.

This means they must be shrewd enough to make hard decision.

Today Africa has no leaders who can be counted on to hold the line and hold the sky from falling.

It looks like Africa is for the umpteenth time in a century a preferred war theatre because of the natural resources, including oil, gas, cobalt and many other rare earth minerals found in the Great lakes.

The West is colluding with Russia that has its Revanchist ambitions.

The solution lies in strengthening the African union.

There might even be a need for a standing military force financed by the African union.

Then there is a needed to also empower the regional bodies like ECOWAS, COMESA and SADC.

These organisations are largely economic.

But they should also have security as one of the foremost mandates.

Military interventions cannot be a solution to many of the problems that are in any case political in nature.

African union should strengthen peer review mechanism so as to get an early detection of where member staters could be falling short.

A looming war in Mozambique has its origins in the decision by the elite to forget the northern province.

Poverty, deprivation and isolation are really the causes for the insurgency in Mozambique.

People are hopeless and are being manipulated because they have no alternative.

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