Africa Union peace force must come to party

President Joseph Kabila

President Joseph Kabila

Stephen Mpofu
In their hey era in Africa those without knees employed brutal force to keep under check “political rubble rousers” among their subject black people and in the process those colonial masters greeted each other with their thumbs raised, the body language signifying triumph over the natives.

But little did the foreigners realise that “stability” which they believed to have established across the continent with their racist actions was modicum at best and at worst a make-believe tactic by the black people to let sleeping dogs lie, as this article will demonstrate.

Once the blacks had broken the colonial yoke the freedom that came with that celebrated action implanted in the hearts of the African a cocktail of neo-colonialists, tribalistic and pot-belly ideologies so dysfunctional that they have left behind fractious societies in many, many African societies in post modernity.

South Sudan, Africa’s newest state is bleeding mortally as it were as a unitary state, for example, with more than a million people having already fled violence spanned mainly by tribal divisions between those in power and the opposition and, as a result, innocent people including women and children have been caught in cross-fire between government forces and opposition militia with children losing their schooling in the process.

In similar upheavals in the Democratic Republic of Congo, over 300 000 people among them women and children have fled the violence-wrecked south eastern part of that country to seek refuge in neighbouring Zambia.

As in southern Sudan, government forces and militia are reportedly engaged in fierce battles with the death tolls obviously high.

But worse could come any time as the opposition pushes a campaign for President Joseph Kabila to leave office by December this year when elections originally agreed between parties on both sides of the political isle are scheduled to take place.

However, Mr Kabila appears to be digging in his heels with no sign of elections taking place as scheduled and the opposition has said it would have no more (repeat no more) of Kabila after December and appears strongly disposed to violence in anger at Kabila’s continued presidency.

In Togo, the people there have said they are fed up with Faure Gnassingbe, their president who succeeded his father, Eyadema with the family ruling their country for 50 years.

If the man does not stand down from the presidency, violence is predictable with the mood of the volatile people in that West African country appearing to have reached a boiling point.

Uganda appears to be another flash point as the government there appears hell-bent on ending an age limit for president Yoweri Museveni, now 73, for him to continue as president of that East African country while the opposition says no ways.

Just days ago violence broke out in parliament when security forces clashed with opposition MPs over the age limit issue with the opposition there indicating that it would not budge to allow Museveni’s tenure in office to continue, and within Kenya a stalemate existing between the government and the opposition over a rerun of the presidential election the result of which was nullified by the high court there.

Closer to home, in Lesotho, peace and stability appear to continually elude the people there in spite of efforts by Sadc to bring a lasting solution to violent confrontations between the opposition on the one side and those in power on the other. In Zambia, which under former President Kenneth Kaunda played a vital role in the liberation of southern Africa by sheltering and supporting liberation movements engaged in the armed freedom struggle, relations between the opposition and president Edgar Lungu’s government continue to be touch-and-go and might explode into violence with losses of innocent lives.

If also the conflict in the Central African Republic is considered as well as instability in the Horn of Africa, a graphic picture emerges of a continent at war by its own people, witness massive flights by African refugees to Europe with many of them perishing in the Mediterranean Sea as they flee their native countries to seek refuge in a Europe that is far, far from embracing them with warm arms.

When these heart-rending, conflictual and destabilising situations on a continent in a hurry to develop socially and economically are considered, the mother of all questions become this one; what is our continent’s overseer, the African Union, doing to bring about stability as a precursor for taking the continent to a brave new future, socially, politically and economically?

Is the continental body content with twiddling its fingers and issuing impotent warning statements while little political or tribal fires are being lit by irresponsible or power hungry citizens to eventually turn into conflagrations that consume genuine initiatives to make Africa a better place to live for all of her people?

And where is Africa’s stabilisation force which has already been trained to move and quell troubles in member states?

Or is the force a mere decorative on the shelf for the AU to look at and hug itself with glee; otherwise why is that military force not being unleashed to quell violence in states that find themselves under siege by their own people, thereby making the continent a laughing stock to the progressive international community?

Moreover, no foreign investor, however willing to help in Africa’s development initiatives will pour their aid into a country on fire and expect to reap handsome dividends.

And the AU operatives themselves – why do they not go out trouble-shooting in beleaguered states instead of vegetating in their air-conditioned offices in Addis Ababa all the while thinking wishfully that the verbal appeals they make for peace and stability in states tearing themselves apart will yield meaningful and durable results?

All in all, individual governments must of necessity realise that they are under God’s obligation to provide good governance to their people because good government is God’s will.

This suggests that a government must rein in errant members whose conduct besmirches a government’s image in the eyes of both the public and God by whose grace leaders remain ensconced in power; otherwise rulers should not be surprised to find themselves in the cold for incurring the just wrath of the Lord who wants people to be ruled well so they may receive His Word, Jesus Christ.  The universal Church of Christ which serves as God’s kingdom cabinet on earth certainly has a tall order to help bring about good governance of the people by the people for the people and for God’s pleasure.

However as things stand today, the question that remains on many a lip is; whither to Africa?

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