Dear Comrades and Honourable Members, I will borrow a leaf from a common journalism saying that “when a dog bites a man that’s not news but when a man bites a dog that’s serious news.”
As you are all aware, all our African leaders at many various African Summits and other multilateral fora, continue to expound a wide-range of peace and security initiatives aimed at preventing, managing and resolving conflicts and crisis situations on the continent.
However, violence and conflicts on the continent remain unabated, inhibiting social and political progress and limiting the much needed economic growth.
It is of grave concern to all of us that protracted violent conflicts such as those in the Great Lakes Region like what we witnessed in South Sudan, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, LRA in Northern Uganda among others; terrorism and extremism in the Sahel region and the Lake Chad area not forgetting Somalia and other parts of Nigeria with Bako Haram.
Be that as it may it is common knowledge that most of the conflicts in Africa remain etched in the competition for resources and access to state power nothing more to add to the value of citizenry.
In addition, the lack of equality of the human race before our states’ machineries and the lack of due regard for the basic human rights of our people, also continue to ferment tensions that outlive generations, resulting in protracted conflicts, fighting and bloodshed.
Some of us might be in the know that, the African Union, and all other regional blocks like the East African Community, ECOWAS, SADC have established the peace and security architecture which entails the Peace and Security Council, which will be dealing with the Continental early warning systems, the panel of the wise, the African standby force among others and a Peace Fund to finance our peace and security initiatives and efforts.
However, I must hasten to say that having all these seemingly good initiatives have proved to be not enough a panacea to peace and security problems that we are facing.
To this end, we are still going to need platforms of high value with action than papers, ink and files locked in our wardrobes for the the benefits of dust, cockroaches and rats as we continue our search for a collective response to minimising protracted conflicts in Africa.
Furthermore I have noted with keen interest the pertinent questions I always encounter from many different forums about Africa asking: who should own the peace process, the peace-making initiative, and the post-conflict environment?
I leave this for all of us to analyse in our collective week in Focus.
The author is a lawyer, Pan Africanist and regular contributor for The Nile Post