African Union Chairperson of the Peace and Security Council, H.E. Crisantos Obama Ondo advised Pan-African Parliamentarians to commit to ending the war on the continent to avoid passing current conflicts on to the next generations.
He said this in a keynote address on the African Union 2020 theme, ‘Silencing the Guns: Creating a Conducive Environment for Development,’ during the joint workshop of the Permanent Committees of the Pan-African Parliament in Midrand, South Africa.
The AU theme is intended to ensure that Africa creates for itself; a conducive environment by rallying all stakeholders towards prioritising efforts on peace and socio-economic development and addressing the underlying causes of conflict, thereby setting a platform for development to thrive.
“We need not hand over the war to the next generation, this can be done by finding the most efficient means to silence the guns, which is implementing specific actions of the Agenda 2063 roadmap,” he said.
African leaders in developing the Agenda 2063, identified the rising conflicts on the continent as a major barrier to achieving Africa’s vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.
However, their concerns remain relevant because conflicts persist in the Central African Republic, parts of the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, South Sudan, as well as parts of the Lake Chad Basin; with violent extremism being witnessed in the Sahel and parts of the Horn and Eastern Africa.
In recent times, newer acts of terrorism have taken on a more sophisticated approach.
It is against this backdrop that Africa is on a trajectory of development and is creating a conducive environment through which trade can flourish.
According to H.E. Ondo, it is therefore important to look at the key enablers of development while addressing any issue that may be detrimental to attaining its goals.
“We need to increase our regional efforts and strengthen our international cooperation with key stakeholders if we are to end the war on the continent and the world. We should also ensure that we reduce poverty and climate change to silence guns,” he said.
Parliamentarians have been identified as key in advancing peace and stability in the continent and therefore have a key and critical role to play in promoting the ‘silencing of the guns campaign’ at the grassroots level.
Hon. Salem Gnan from Libya appealed to African Institutions not only to silence guns but to also stop circulation of illegal arms around the continent.
“Libya does not only need silencing of the guns, but we also need to stop illegal arms reaching our shores. I call upon relevant African Institutions to get committed and end this machination which is killing our country. This we need to do together as Africans with one voice,” he said.
Hon. Bashar Isah from Nigeria believes that it is the leadership crisis which is to blame in all this chaotic situation.
“To get to the bottom of this, Africa needs to frankly look at how we got here and be honest in addressing it. Defective leadership recruitment process has got us this far, it is not normal to keep silent in the face of tyranny; hence we need to be brutally frank in confronting the present situation if we are to prevail,” he said.