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

Climate change and health: public health awareness in an international framework

The Bavarians threaten Berlin and Brussels with immigration crisis

Here’s how the EU is doing on gender equality

Zuckerberg, a paella, and the mighty EU questionnaires that would stop Whatsapp acquisition by Facebook?

State aid: Commission invites comments on State aid rules for the deployment of broadband networks

COP21 Breaking News_09 December: The Draft Agreement Updated

The global appetite for meat is growing, and it’s harming the planet

‘Answer the call of Afghans’ to reduce impact of conflict, UN urges all parties amid increase in civilian airstrike deaths

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

TTIP wins Merkel’s endorsement ahead of 2016 tough deadline

This Chinese tech giant’s latest gadget is… a bus

Can the banking union help Eurozone counter its imminent threats?

Dutch voters reject EU-Ukraine partnership and open a new pandora’s box for the EU

Easing fears and promoting gender equality in Chad’s girls-only classrooms

DR Congo: Electoral process advancing despite threat of armed groups, UN envoy tells Security Council

May a parody constitute a copyright infringement? European Court of Justice to give the answer

As COP25 goes into the night, Guterres calls for more climate ambition

Heart attacks and strokes are more common on high pollution days, data shows

Crowdfunding: what it is and what it may become

Canada grants asylum for Saudi teen who fled family: UNHCR

World cannot be transformed without ‘ingenuity of the countries of the South’: UN Chief

We are ‘burning up our future’, UN’s Bachelet tells Human Rights Council

Twenty days that may remold the future of Europe

Greece and Ukraine main items on EU28 menu; the course is set

Seaweed, enzymes and compostable cups: Can ‘Big Food’ take on plastic and win?

Carnage must stop in northwest Syria demands Lowcock, as attacks intensify

Greater transparency, fairer prices for medicines ‘a global human rights issue’, says UN health agency

How Africa and Asia are joining forces on universal healthcare

Ebola in DR Congo: New transmission chain risks reversing major gains

CHALLENGING THE ZEITGEIST OF DIGITAL – Change making projects innovate mobile support for refugees, inclusive environments, early breast cancer detection and more

Family-friendly policies benefit all of us. Here are 4 ways to boost them

End discrimination against women and children affected by leprosy

Walk, cycle, dance and play – UN health agency recommends new action plan for good health

UN and Red Cross chiefs appeal for end to use of explosive weapons in cities

Air quality: Commission takes action to protect citizens from air pollution

This man is installing 100 trash barriers in Bali’s rivers to stop plastic pollution

UN chief ‘deeply saddened’ by Ethiopia plane crash which killed 157, including at least 21 UN workers

Boom in Artificial Intelligence patents, points to ‘quantum leap’ in tech: UN report

This robot has soft hands. It could be the future of sustainable production

The space internet race is dawning. Here’s what to expect

How has policy affected employment in small businesses in the US?

COVID-19: More new virus cases outside China than in, ‘no time for complacency’, says UN health agency

A machine din

Computer skills are crucial for children – in lockdown and in life

Stop illegal trade in cats and dogs, say MEPs

As Houthi forces withdraw from key Yemeni ports, UN monitoring chief welcomes ‘first practical step on the ground’

‘Repeated attacks’ could close down key hospital in eastern Libya, says WHO

The horrific trend of the anti-vaccine movement in Turkey

European Youth Capital 2018 : Cascais

EU economic governance: More exploitation for the weaker countries

Global South cooperation ‘vital’ to climate change fight, development, Guterres tells historic Buenos Aires summit

G20 LIVE: “International communities and leaders have great expectations for 2016 G20 summit in Hangzhou China”, Mr Wang Xiaolong, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s special envoy stresses live from G20 in Antalya Turkey

Climate change is destroying a barrier that protects the US from hurricanes

COVID-19: Commission launches European team of scientific experts to strengthen EU coordination and medical response

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

The secret to Bangladesh’s economic success? The Sheikh Hasina factor

Evidence shows ‘brutal’ killing of Saudi journalist ‘planned and perpetrated’ by State officials: UN independent expert

Madagascar: UN Secretary-General reaffirms support for electoral process

MEPs cap prices of calls within EU and approve emergency alert system

COVID-19: ‘Top priority’ must be on containment, insists WHO’s Tedros

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