Keep Africa’s guns ‘from firing in the first place’, UN political chief urges

UN News/Daniel Dickinson 25-year old Kedra Abakar was abducted from his home on the the island of Ngomiron Doumou in Lake Chad by extremists from the Boko Haram terrorist group. (9 February 2019)

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Arms control, the illegal exploitation of natural resources, and the United Nations’ role in “silencing the guns in Africa” were the focus of a Security Council’s debate on Wednesday, aimed at conflict prevention across the continent.

Noting that two years of joint UN-African Union (AU) efforts have strengthened the continent’s ability to detect and defuse crises before they escalate, Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, said that while “silencing the guns for good requires the participation of all”, it also means “keeping them from firing in the first place”.

Adding that resilient societies were key to the objective, she argued the need for building strong institutions, good governance and encouraging inclusive politics.

While acknowledging that the continent has, in recent years, made “great strides” in deepening democracy and democratic institutions, she pointed out that numerous challenges remained, such as the “marginalization of certain groups from political processes, the prevalence of a ‘winner-take-all’ approach, corruption, and the mismanagement of natural resources”.

Ms. DiCarlo noted that “progress has slowed” in efforts to increase women’s leadership and meaningful participation in political processes, stressing: “We must redouble our efforts in this critical pursuit”.

She maintained that in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s own Agenda 2063, the UN continues to work with the AU and the Regional Economic Communities to help build strong national institutions and address the root causes of armed conflict.

“Across the continent, entrepreneurship is up, access to education has increased and child mortality has declined”, she observed, recalling the Secretary-General’s declaration that “a wind of hope is blowing in Africa”.

African countries themselves “have a central role to play” in silencing the guns at home, but “it is vital that the international community lend its support”, she said.

African countries ‘trapped in a vicious cycle’

Ramtane Lamamra, AU High Representative for Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020, told the Chamber that the tremendous efforts “to make peace a viable and lasting reality across the continent” has resulted in “notable progress” in preventing, managing and resolving conflicts in Africa.

He said joint initiatives in recent months steering countries away from crisis, were responsible for “generating optimism about a Continent emerging from the shadows and moving steadily to restore peace and stability.”

However, many countries remain “trapped in a vicious cycle of violent conflict and its deadly consequences” owing to transnational crime, terrorism, and the proliferation of Small Arms and Lights Weapons”, he stated, adding that ungoverned spaces; corruption and illicit financial flows; and illegally exploiting natural resources, further exacerbated the situation.

Mr. Lamamra emphasized that to prevent and resolve conflicts in Africa, the gap between political and military efforts must be bridged and there needs to be an investment in economic and social development.

Simeon Oyono Esono Angue, Foreign Minister of Equatorial Guinea – which is chairing the Council this month – chaired the debate and said that to effectively, verifiably and transparently silence Africa’s weapons, international support, especially within the Security Council, was imperative.

UN-AU partnership has brought dividends:

  • Central to forging the peace agreement in the Central African Republic signed earlier this month.
  • Sparked renewed hope by playing a major role in the signing of the revitalized peace accord in South Sudan.
  • Supported Somalia’s State-building agenda to fight against violent extremism and restore peace and stability.
  • Contributed to the peaceful process during Madagascar’s 2018 presidential election.
  • Worked to ensure the peaceful conduct of elections throughout the continent.
  • Worked to counter-terrorism and prevent violent extremism through a Memorandum of Understanding that increases cooperation and capacity-building for the AU, Member States and several sub-regional organizations.

But he also stressed the “vital importance” of involving African citizens themselves, who are those bearing the brunt of conflict.

It is the “collective responsibility” of all African countries to prioritize its citizens’ participation in political and economic processes to promote equity and prevent violence “at all levels” he spelled out.

As Africa must address both “the symptoms and the root causes of conflicts” he asserted that it was vital that continent’s capacity to accelerate development and reduce poverty to eliminate the space for conflict and violent extremism be strengthened.

“Our lives depend on it”, he stated.

At the onset of the meeting, the Council passed a new resolution expressing concern that while the continent faces a challenging security environment, to create an Africa without conflict, it is essentially the responsibility of the AU, its member states and their people and institutions. It also takes note of AU efforts to counter transnational terrorism and, with sub-regional organizations, to conduct peace support operations.                 

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

“We have to do a better job of creating alternatives to violent extremism”, US Secretary of State John Kerry from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Chart of the day: This is what violence does to a nation’s GDP

Parliament supports plans to improve quality of tap water and cut plastic litter

EU-China: Commission and China hold first High-level Digital Dialogue

Egypt is building one of the world’s largest solar parks

ISIS fighters fleeing Mosul for Syria can topple Assad. Why did the US now decide to uproot them from Iraq?

OECD presents analysis showing significant impact of proposed international tax reforms

How Google is fighting fire with real-time mapping data

New UN finance panel to push Global Goals forward

TTIP: why it is worth not to pull the covers over your head?

Have we reached peak smartphone?

It’s time to move: 5 ways we can upgrade our SDG navigation systems

Bangladesh: Head of UN refugee agency calls on Asia-Pacific leaders to show ‘solidarity’ with Rohingya refugees

Sardinia’s La Pelosa beach is charging tourists an entry fee to protect its dunes and vegetation

A roadmap for destination management in the digital economy

Tsipras bewildered with Berlin’s humiliating demands; ECB expects political sign to refinance the Greek banks

Flexible jobs can make work-life balance worse, a German study finds

A week to decide if the EU is to have a Banking Union

The needs, challenges and power dynamics of refugee resettlement

Solitary Britain sides with US aggressing Russia and chooses hard Brexit

Crackdown on Christians in Eritrea spurs UN expert to press Government ‘to live up to its international commitments’

From underestimation to valorization: how mobile technology is transforming global health

Here’s how we get businesses to harmonize on climate change

DR Congo: Restore internet services as ‘a matter of urgency’, urges UN expert

Human Rights and Democracy: striving for dignity and equality around the world

Who is to pay the dearest price in a global slowdown?

Road to Brexit: the UK seeks early agreement on Data Privacy with the EU

Brazil: A strategic partner for the EU

Property regimes for international couples in Europe: new rules apply in 18 Member States as of today

‘Terminator’ warlord Bosco Ntaganda sentenced to 30 years in prison for DR Congo atrocities

How China’s sponge cities are preparing for sea-level rise

More international support needed to curb deadly measles outbreak in DR Congo

What makes a great CEO? The people they surround themselves with

Austrian Presidency priorities discussed in committees

A Europe that Protects: Commission calls for decisive action on security priorities

#Travelgoals: why Instagram is key to understanding millennial tourism

A fundamental transport transformation: Commission presents its plan for green, smart and affordable mobility

Millions of Afghans have ‘voted not just for a president, but also for democracy’, UN Assembly told

The big challenge of leadership and entrepreneurship in Europe

Better training ‘a necessary and strategic investment’ in peacekeeping that saves lives: Guterres

How data can help mining companies tackle their trust deficit

A brief history of vaccines and how they changed the world

COVID-19 poses a dramatic threat to life in conflict zones

Venezuelan exodus to Ecuador reaches record levels: UN refugee agency steps up aid

An introduction to ‘Eco-Medical Literacy’ and its importance in shaping expert medical professionals

Costa Rica has doubled its tropical rainforests in just a few decades. Here’s how

They have more than 30 words for “apple core”, and other things you didn’t know about Switzerland

What next after more sanctions against Russia, will the Ukrainian civil war end?

Should tech companies pay us for our data?

Migration: Better travel safe than sorry

Why developing new antibiotics is a matter of life and death

Darfur peace process at a ‘standstill’ as demonstrations against Sudanese Government continue

Human traffickers in Libya are posing as UN staff, says Refugee Agency

UN welcomes progress in former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia naming dispute

Why the 21st century’s biggest health challenge is our shared responsibility

Women and girls in science – from aspiration to reality

EU values in Hungary and Poland: debate on recent developments

Technology can help us save the planet. But more than anything, we must learn to value nature

China-EU Summit on 16-17 July 2018: “Work together to address common challenges”, by China’s Ambassador to the EU

EP negotiators: recovery plan crucial, but do not trade long-term for short-term

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s