The United Nations chambers recently took into liberations on matters ‘Silencing the guns’ and taming the ‘vicious-cycle’ of violent conflict in Africa.
The Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peace building Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo noted that, while “silencing the guns for good requires the participation of all”, it also means “keeping them from firing in the first place”, calling for the participation of all.
While Africa has been facing war in areas such as the Central African Republic, Sudan, Somalia and time to time election violence, the UN Security Council stressed the “vital importance” of involving African citizens themselves, who are those bearing the brunt of conflict.
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”.
While acknowledging that the continent has, in recent years, made “great strides” in deepening democracy and democratic institutions, she further 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”.
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” spelled out Equatorial Guinea Foreign Minister Simeon Oyono Esono Angue – chairing the Council.
Africa must address both “the symptoms and the root causes of conflicts” he asserted that it was vital that the 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.