H.E. Dr. Richard Nduhuura
 Mamadou-Tangara

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Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Uganda to the UN

 Event Title Date
 Africa Solutions to African Problems: Education, Health, Culture, Economy, Culture, Peace & Security 02/ 12/ 2014
Speech:

African Solutions to African Problems has always been and is dear to our hearts in Africa. I wish to Quote one of our Founding Fathers, Kwame Nkrumah who stated that “ The survival of free Africa, the extending independence of the continent, and the development towards that bright future on which our hopes and endeavors are pinned, depend upon political unity and African Solutions to the African Problems.”

The state of Peace and Security on the African Continent remains a pre-occupying phenomenon, with successes and continuing challenges. Indeed, alongside the steady progress in the establishment of the African Union (AU) Continental peace and security architecture as well as establishment of regional and sub-regional Organizations such as International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), East African Community (EAC), Southern African Development Cooperation (SADC) and many others to mention but a few, with great and promising achievements on the Continent, should always be venerated. However, the geopolitical map of Africa continues to bear the marks of several latent crises. There are also multiple full-blown conflicts in the face of which peace efforts are often met with opposition or simply foiled by the existence of diverse challenges.

These diverse challenges are often based on the logic of confrontation and on rivalries, to the detriment of concepts and ideological orientations that are more receptive to the exigencies of the peaceful solutions anchored on dialogue, Peaceful settlement of disputes, compromise and win—win for mutual benefit.

Why Peace in Africa?

Although it is instructive to note that not all the Continent is beset by conflicts, Where they exist, conflicts have led to devastating effects, including: deaths to innocent civilians, refugees across borders, internal displacements, loss and destruction of property, disruption of socio-economic activities as well as costs relating to their management and resolution. The innocent people of Africa deserve a settled life to fully exploit their potential and this aspiration is enshrined in the Constitutive Act of the African Union, to promote peace, security, stability and development on the Continent.

Africa is endowed with a wealth of resources; both human and natural. Without peace, these resources cannot be fully and optimally harnessed to ensure the much needed development on the continent. Indeed, the scourge of conflicts in Africa constitutes a major impediment to the socio-economic development of the Continent. “Without peace, development is not possible”, and also true, is the maxim that “without development, peace is not durable”. Therefore the spirited efforts of We the Africans and our Leaders of the Continent must remain focused to achieve peace and development.

Regional and continental Integration

In this globalized World, it is a truism that many African countries are small and uncompetitive. The most important agenda on the African Continent spearheaded by African Union and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) is promotion of regional and continental integration. This position is also inspired by much richer nations in the world which have found it necessary to embrace integration for bigger markets and production lines as Well as social and political stability. Ridding the continent of the lingering conflicts would, therefore, provide a conducive environment for faster integration, stability and development.

Regional Efforts

On the basis of our observation and engagements over the years, there is no doubt that there is a desire and commitment, on the part of Africa and the international community, to resolve conflicts on the Continent. This desire and commitment are well expressed in previous and recent regional efforts undertaken to ensure security, stability and development.

Examination of regional efforts towards long lasting peace in Africa reveals that, they have been successful where they have occurred. Where the conflicts have persisted, the problem has been lack of implementation of agreed positions because of various reasons, including external interference, and our own internal constraints. It is therefore, my submission that we continue to be inspired by past experiences where solutions to African Conflicts have been possible, because of active involvement of all the African parties’ concerned and African ownership and drive of the peace processes.

Africa with its regional economic communities have anchored African Solutions to African Problems hence peace and stability is gradually being realized in the sub regions and the entire African Continent.

The following achievements for example have been spearheaded by African and regional solutions or efforts.

  • Establishment of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC).
  • The Arusha Peace Process that culminated into Peace and stability in Burundi.
  • Fighting terrorism such as Al-shabab (who have linkages with Al-qaeda) in Somalia by AMISOM – an African Force.
  • Regional efforts to address instability in DRC e.g the outcome of the Kampala Talks between DRC and M23 to find a durable solution to the conflict in Eastern DRC.
  • Also the Concept (CONOPS) to establish the Neutral International Force (NIF) with a robust mandate to pursue negative armed groups in DRC was an ICGLR regional effort and a decision of the Heads of State and Government in the Great Lakes Region and UN borrowed our Concept which was renamed the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) – the brigade is also constituted of regional forces i.e. South Africa, Tanzania and Namibia. It should therefore be noted that, MONUC and later on MONUSCO had been in DRC for decades but with no beacon of hope and progress to realize security and stability in DRC.
  • Establishment of MISCA- an African led Force in Central African Republic and the hybrid Force in Mali.
  • IGAD’s role in facilitating dialogue in the recent conflict in South Sudan.
  • Pursuing Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) through regional cooperation- African Union Region Task Force on LRA.
  • Increased robustness of the African Forces to deal with armed negative forces/ groups on the Continent as witnessed in the decision of the recent AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government to establish an African Standby Force (ASF) intended for rapid deployment for a multiplicity of peace support operations that may include preventive deployment, peacekeeping, peace-building, post-conflict disarmament, demobilization, re-integration and humanitarian assistance.
  • Peaceful Settlement of disputes by Africans as a pillar to peace and stability in Africa.
  • Regional integration for common and wider markets as well as tourism and investment opportunities – to mention but a few.

While we thank the development partners who have supported Africa in its endeavors. I wish to quote my President, H.E Yoweri Museveni; He said “That, Africa needs to be insured from conflicts and instability, instead of People or Africans having insurance for their cars.”

Challenge

Whereas Africa, its organizations and regional Economic Communities have been compelled to deploy peace support operations, they continue to experience difficulties in financing them. Most of the African led peace efforts and initiatives require more support by international partners to effectively carry out their mandate. Therefore, finding a dependable and assured mechanism to finance African Peace support operations will make peace, security and stability on the continent a reality.

Conclusion

The need for a conflict-free Africa needs not to be over-emphasized.

On their part, African countries continue to spearhead peace processes aimed at the peaceful resolution of existing conflicts. The resolution of the conflict in Burundi and the recent Kainpala declaration between DRC and M23 are classic examples of region-led initiatives – Hence African solutions to African Problems.

The main challenge to Africa is lack of assured means of financing these efforts, especially peace support operations and post conflict reconstruction which require stable funding. Therefore more genuine support from the development partners shall continue to play a significant role.

.Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf44i7UFql4