The Peace and Security Council of the African Union to the PAP on the Status of Peace and Security in Africa by AMBASSADOR OSMAN KEH KAMARA
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF SIERRA LEONE TO THE AFRICAN UNION
Speaking on behalf of the Peace and Security Council (PSC); His Excellency, Ambassador Osman Keh Kamara said the policy of the Pan African Parliament, to invite the Council to its sessions promotes coordination and synergy in efforts of the African Union organs within the framework of the African Peace and Security Architecture, which is a blue print for promoting peace, security and stability on the continent.
“Africa has recently adopted Agenda 2063 and we must do everything within our means to ensure realization of the goals of this Agenda,” he said; adding that the Peace and Security Council had continued to deploy sustained efforts to consolidate the progress made in promoting lasting peace, security and stability on the continent.
“While progress has been made in resolving some of the conflict and crisis situations in the continent, with the support of the Commission, the Regional Economic Communities / Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (RECs/RMs) and partners, many challenges evidently remain on the continent’s peace and security landscape,” Ambassador Kamara noted.
It is feared that the threat of terrorism in Africa has grown significantly and continues to grow in various parts of Africa, with the notorious Islamic State militant group in the Middle East also expanding its influence in Africa. The Ambassador indicated that “In Libya, the terrorist group is taking advantage of the current crisis, which is also compounded by the absence of effective central government to recruit, train and expand its presence in our continent.”
He remarked that relationships between the various terrorist organizations on the continent remain murky, while the collective impact of their actions amount to a serious threat to Africa’s peace and security; and a test to the continent’s collective will and ability to decisively combat and eradicate terrorism.
However, Ambassador Kamara also stated that besides terrorism, the general peace and security situation in the African continent is still a challenge which needs coordinated efforts. “In South Sudan, the overall political, security, and humanitarian situation remains volatile, despite the signing of a peace Agreement by the warring parties in August 2015. As the Parliament is aware, from 7 July 2016, there have been deadly clashes between the SPLM-IG and the SPLM-IO in the capital city of Juba. In the past few days, there has not been any glimmer of hope that this conflict will relent,” he remarked; also encouraging the countries of the region to intensify engagement with the Parties to secure a return to peace, without turning a blind eye to different cases of Sudan, Burundi, Mali, Libya, Western Sahara and Central African Republic.
“As we work towards creating conditions conducive for durable peace, security, stability and prosperity of our continent, we also have a fundamental obligation to respond positively, wherever possible, to the constant and legitimate demands of our people including the respect and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms, which is one of the best approaches of preventing violent conflicts and instability in our continent,” the ambassador pleaded.
On the contrary, it was also noted that more of the member states were conducting peaceful elections, often accompanied by peaceful handover of power, indicating that Africa has stood firm against unconstitutional changes of government; a success that should extend to the entire political space of the African States, particularly through consolidating peaceful handover of power and ensuring smooth political succession.
Ambassador Kamara concluded by highlighting that in order to achieve the goal of silencing the guns by 2020, it was critical to strengthen the ability to carry out preventive diplomacy and mediation and he also encouraged Organs of the Union to take advantage of tools availed by the Commission to tackle structural conflict prevention.
“We have witnessed a remarkable decision by our heads of State and Government on the Peace Fund during the 27th Ordinary session of the AU held in July in Kigali, Rwanda. It is time for us Member States to make use of the proposals in the report by Dr. Donald Kaberuka on the Peace Fund, to find resources from within and be able to resolve crises/conflicts for a peaceful continent,” he emphasised.