By AB Kamara
The Boko Haram onslaught in northeastern Nigeria, conflicts in the Central African Republic, Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, South Sudan and Darfur, northern Mali, southern Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Somalia, and into the Sinai Peninsula, among others, are creating cycle of violent and undermining the continent’s efforts to provide for the millions of poor people.
At the 669th meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council on ‘early warning and the state of peace and security in Africa’, held on 21 March 2017, representatives of member countries raised deep concern over the persistent occurrence of the violent conflicts and crises situations, as well as relapses back to the cycle of violent conflicts in parts of the continent, which continue to undermine Africa’s efforts to provide well for its people using the abundant natural resources available.
As the continued state of instability is worrying to the continent, the barbaric onslaught of people by Boko Haram in Nigeria is the deadliest Africa is currently experiencing and has now spread firmly into neighboring countries as well.
France and the United States are providing critical assistance, both in terms of intelligence and combating other terrorist groups farther north so that Niger’s army can focus on the Boko Haram threat and thus greater need for the AU to step up efforts and put the situation under control.
The members also expressed concern over the continued cases of denials to credible early warning signals of looming crises, thereby undermining the conflict prevention capacity of Council, which, in effect often leads to full blown violent conflicts with all attendant political, economic, humanitarian and environmental consequences.
In this context, and taking into consideration the efforts called for in Agenda 2063, including those for silencing the Guns in Africa by the year 2020, Council urges all AU Member States to extend necessary support to the efforts of Council to prevent the outbreak of violent conflicts and crises.
The members deplore the fact that Africa has not taken necessary measures, robust enough to tackle the lopsided pattern of socio-economic development inherited from the colonial systems, which continue to trigger and fuel tensions, instability, and insecurity within communities.
In this context, Council calls for sustained action to address the root causes of violent conflicts, including inequality, exclusion, and marginalization, through measures that boost job creation and balanced income distribution with a view to eradicating abject poverty across the continent.