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

What options the new President of Ukraine has?

How climate change sparks innovation for fragile communities

EU’s Finance Ministers draft plan to raise tax bills of online giants like Google and Amazon

UN chief sends condolences to families of Malawi flood victims

Systems leadership can change the world – but what exactly is it?

Teaching medical ethics and technology: Are our future doctors prepared for this merger?

MasterCard at European Business Summit 2015: A focus on innovation will drive inclusive economic growth for Europe

EU Parliament shows its teeth in view of 2014 elections

How to give start-ups a head-start

Inequality in the delivery of health services

The latest emoji are more inclusive – but who approves them?

We need to rethink neuroscience. And you can help us

COP21 Paris agreement: a non legally-binding climate pact won’t stop effectively global warming while EU’s Cañete throws hardest part to next Commission

Eurozone’s sovereign debt not a problem anymore?

To recruit younger people, you have to understand them. Here’s a guide

The UN has a 17-point plan to save the world. So how’s it doing?

EU Elections: new rules to prevent breaches of data used to influence elections

EU plans to exploit the Mediterranean Sea and the wealth beneath it

DR Congo: ‘No time to lose’ says newly appointed UN Ebola response coordinator

Will the Greek economy ever come back to growth?

Denmark is experimenting with ‘culture vitamins’ to lift people out of depression

To Brexit or not to Brexit: British exceptionalism doesn’t allow any Obama telling Brits what to do

International Women’s Day 2019: more equality, but change is too slow

Security Council imposes arms embargo on South Sudan

EU regional differences betray an unjust arrangement

Phone lines open between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and people are calling strangers

The Five Chinese Girls

Portugal: €4.66 million in aid for 1,460 dismissed workers and jobless young

Presidents of pan-European youth organisations call upon the European Council to preserve the Schengen principles

UN peacekeepers warn of increasing global challenges

From farms to supermarkets: MEPs approve new EU rules against unfair trading

What UK and EU risk if Brexit “wins” these elections

DR Congo: ‘New waves of violence’ likely, UN warns, unless State acts to prevent intercommunal reprisals

Eurozone: In vicious cycle of disinflation and unemployment?

‘Two pack’ austerity package in force but with less vigor

Preferential tariffs to help Western Sahara to develop

‘Ticking bomb’ health warning over deteriorating conditions facing Cyclone Idai victims

‘Exercise restraint’ Guterres urges Sri Lankans, as political crisis deepens

Cities are easy prey for cybercriminals. Here’s how they can fight back

US-EU trade war: Berlin fearful of the second round

Why David Cameron’s large victory in UK elections will not pursue a ‘Brexit’

Gaza investigators call on Israel to review ‘rules of engagement’ as Gaza protest anniversary looms

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s speech from World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of New Champions

Insecurity and violence turn Nigeria into a ‘pressure cooker’ that must be addressed, says UN rights expert

EU agricultural production no more a self-sufficiency anchor

Service and sacrifice of African peacekeepers ‘at the forefront of our minds’: UN chief

Deal on faster exchange of non-EU nationals’ criminal records

How to create a world where healthcare is a right, not a luxury

Brexit: UK business fear of a no-deal scenario preparing for the worst

One-third of Afghans need urgent humanitarian aid, millions suffer ‘acute food insecurity’

These airports are now opening their doors to non-fliers

Greece lost a month that cannot be found neither in “mini Summits” nor in Berlin

Is your business model fit for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

UN chief hopeful for Libya, after Quartet meeting in Tunis

Towards a climate-neutral Europe: EU invests over €10bn in innovative clean technologies

Why lay people don’t expect anything good from G20

Environmental Implementation Review: Commission helps Member States to better apply EU environment rules to protect citizens and enhance their quality of life

Shifting Tides: Policy Challenges and Opportunities for the G-20

2030 development agenda: Major breakthrough for world of work

Privacy is a human right, we need a GDPR for the world: Microsoft CEO

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

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

You are commenting using your 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