The African Union set itself a goal of silencing guns on the continent by 2020 but has failed to achieve that goal dismally. Guns are still blazing in the DRC, CAR, Libya, South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Nigeria. File picture: Yaska/Reuters
The African Union set itself a goal of silencing guns on the continent by 2020 but has failed to achieve that goal dismally. Guns are still blazing in the DRC, CAR, Libya, South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Nigeria. File picture: Yaska/Reuters

Silencing of guns in Africa remains a pipe dream

By Opinion Time of article published Jan 21, 2021

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By Mustafa Mheta

The African Union set itself a goal of silencing guns on the continent by 2020 but has failed to achieve that goal dismally. Guns are still blazing in the DRC, CAR, Libya, South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Nigeria.

Instead, there is the potential of new wars coming on board in 2021 between Sudan and Ethiopia, and Western Sahara-Morocco, where we could see much bloodshed soon. Why is Africa constantly under such pressures of war?

A closer look at the situations in each country tells us a story of foreign interference and manipulations, so that they gain access to our resources and loot. Our enemies are willing to sponsor some of these wars so that in the midst of the chaos created by them, they can steal our resources.

If we are to examine each situation prevailing in any of these countries, we will notice that the real problem is resources. Instead of a country having pride in their God-given resources, it has now become a curse on them. This is very true with the DRC, for example, Africa’s richest country in terms of resources, which has never known any peace from independence up to this day. I mean, how do we explain the lack of development in the DRC?

Some western countries and their proxies on the continent have joined hands to exploit the DRCs resources. Countries that have no recorded diamonds deposits on their territories are selling the mineral on the world market. Where are they getting the diamonds from is the question?

The same can be said of what is going on in the Central African Republic (CAR). The country, as poor as it is, does possess a lot of natural resources. It was ruled by a man called Emperor Bokassa. This man was one of the richest on the continent. He lived more affluently than some of the European leaders.

The truth is that, like the DRC, CAR is one of the richest countries in terms of natural resources. It has diamonds, gold, and other western sought-after minerals in abundance. As a result of that, the French and the Russians have all lined up deploying their militaries to the CAR on the side of the government under the guise of fighting the rebels when in actual fact, they also bolster the different rebels’ groups inciting them to cause chaos.

Amid the chaos, it gives them the chance to loot in daylight. Over the weekend, the UN troops in CAR, had to retake control of a city in the Central African Republic captured two weeks ago by armed groups waging an offensive against the government of President Faustin-Archange Touadera. Rebels abandoned their positions in Bangassou, 750km east of the capital, Bangui, and fled the city following an ultimatum on Friday from the UN peacekeeping force MINUSCA, the mission’s spokesperson Vladimir Monteiro said late on Saturday.

The incumbent, who is mainly supported by the Russians and the French, is their chosen puppet giving them free access to the country’s resources. Where on earth does the CAR find the money to buy all those expensive weaponry that is being supplied by the Russians and the French? This puppet leader has mortgaged the country’s natural resources, and the people of CAR may never enjoy their God-given resources. Its just absurd to see a naturally rich country live in perpetual poverty forever.

The same is true with regards to Mozambique. Immediately after oil and LNG was discovered in Cabo Delgado, ISIS appeared. All of a sudden, it was Jihadists wanting to set up a caliphate ruled by Islamic shari’ah.

Africa really needs to examine these kinds of situations very seriously and stop being taken for granted. Our leaders need to ask questions and not just accept anything that comes from western think tanks.

There is also a new wave of instability being imposed on Africa. This is coming from the so-called normalisations going on the continent and in the Gulf countries. Whether people agree with me or not, I remain convinced that, the normalisations are, in themselves, instabilities. The reason being that they are not based on truth and fairness, so, they are bound to collapse, sooner or later.

Their collapse will certainly not just happen in a vacuum, it will bring a lot of instabilities, wherever it happens. You cannot build peace based on falsehood and unfairness. How can a man pretend to have peace with his neighbours when, in reality, he doesn’t have peace in his own house?

The silencing of guns on the continent will not come about until our leadership really look close at what its real causes are. I believe most of our leaders are aware of the real causes of instability on our continent, but the problem is the nature of politics that they practice.

The politics of lies and deceit are the real problem. Ten or 20 years from now, when the lies are declassified, it is when the people get to know the truth, that is unacceptable. Why not let the people know the truth now? It affects them now, and must be solved now.

My advice to our leaders in Africa is, break away from western toxic politics and practice the truth period! As a warning, the new crop of youth rising is aware of these things, and if you do not change the way you are doing things, it will be a disaster. Stand up to these powers and announce your break away from the way they do things. Aluta Continua! (The struggle continues).

* Dr Mustafa Mheta is a senior researcher and head of the Africa Desk at the Media Review Network.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of IOL.

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