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Paris Peace Summit: African leaders want better consideration for Africa

Article de la rédaction AFRIC
Present at the Paris Peace Summit, held on the 12-13 November 2019 in the French capital, African leaders took advantage of this great gathering dedicated to the cause of good governance, to expose the challenges facing their continent especially in a context marked by growing insecurity. Initiated by French President Emmanuel Macron, this annual meeting which offers an opportunity for actors of global governance to propose solutions for the promotion of peace and development saw the participation of some thirty African presidents the sixty present.

Often accused by their Western counterparts of hanging on to power and not favouring the democratic alternation in the management of their countries, the African presidents, as ambassadors of a continent undermined by the problems of insecurity that slow down its development made their voices heard, advocating that more consideration be given to African on the international scene.

Idriss Deby wants the fulfilment of the promises made at Sahel G5

The situation in the Sahel, which is experiencing a resurgence of terrorist attacks on the Niger-Burkina-Mali border, dominated the exchanges in which Presidents Idriss Deby Itno of Chad, Issoufou Mahamadou of Niger and Roch Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso took part, and whose countries belong to the Sahel G5 member states. The joint forces of the sub-regional organization created in 2014, lacks funding for its operations on the field.

Called to speak on the security situation in his country in particular and Sahel G5 in general, the Chadian president did not hide his outrage at the unfulfilled promises of partners and donors for the financing of the organization composed of Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Mauritania. According to the Chadian president, the mixed forces bringing together soldiers from the five countries is not yet active on the ground. Having not yet received an offensive mandate from the UN to fight against the terrorists who are sowing death and desolation in the Sahel-Saharan strip, the joint forces that are still waiting for the promised funding here and there, do not have the financial means necessary to equip themselves to carry out operations against the enemy. Partners include the European Union, which pledged € 414 million and the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, which resolved to release € 30 million and € 100 million respectively.

While waiting for these partners to honour their promises, the Sahel region continues to face the horrors of armed groups that are gaining ground and increasing attacks. One of the latest is that of 02 November 2019 which targeted a Malian military camp on the border with Niger. The Malian army, which recorded one of its biggest losses in human life, lost 53 soldiers. This attack comes after those of September 30th and October 1st of this year, on the border with Burkina Faso and which cost the lives of about forty men in uniform.

The International Community Called for More Solidarity with Sahel G5

The Sahel G5, in addition to lacking funding for the operation of its force, is the lack of solidarity on the part of the international community. This remark was made by the Niger President Issoufou Mahamadou invited with his counterparts from the Republic of Congo and Chad to take part in RFI’s radio program “Le débat africain” moderated by Alain Foka. The Nigerien leader who spoke about the means he believes are effective in countering the security threat on the continent, lamented the lack of commitment that is noted at the level of the international community.

According to him, Africa and more precisely the Sahel, is in urgent need of aid from the international community. Effective actions to repel the jihadists who have resumed attacks are more than ever necessary. Taking the example of northern Mali, which is undergoing repeated attacks by terrorists, Niger’s president expressed the wish that the action carried out by the UN force (Minusma) deployed in northern Mali is no longer limited to the level of “maintenance of peace, but is involved in a real war against terrorists. For the Chadian president, the international community, which seems to be able to deal with the situation prevailing in the Sahel today, has its share of responsibility since it encouraged the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime, which resulted in the chaotic situation in Libya which soon affected the Sahel region.

Felix Tshisekedi calls for an international coalition in the fight against terrorism

It is said that unity is strength. It is based on this adage that the Congolese president has called for a global mobilization to effectively fight against terrorism in Africa. For the Congolese president, whose eastern part of the country is being held hostage by numerous armed groups, an international coalition could facilitate the dismantling of terrorist financing networks often fuelled by wealthy people and allow the establishment of a better framework for information. The successor of Joseph Kabila Kabange, who believes in Africa’s potential, salutes the enormous work done so far by the African regional forces, which in his opinion would benefit by collaborating with other special forces to better anticipate the jihadist actions. Felix Tshisekedi who encouraged the various sub-regional organizations to collaborate with each other, had already at the last SADC summit held in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, called the leaders of the organization to think about the creation of a regional coalition to dislodge armed groups that pose a threat to both his country and the sub-region as a whole.

President Paul Biya calls for a reform of international institutions

Cameroonian President Paul Biya, who has some knowledge of international issues, was the only head of state to speak at the big debate on the second day of the Paris Peace Forum. Under the theme: Recognizing the South: For a more balanced global governance, these exchanges led by billionaire Mo Ibrahim, president of the Foundation that bears his name and the Secretary General of La Francophonie Louise Mushikiwabo among others gave Cameroonian president the opportunity to advocate for a reform of international institutions such as the UN, the World Bank and the IMF. As for the United Nations, Paul Biya dwelt on the reform of the Security Council, which he believes should revise the position of Africa being totally absent. “We must continue the reform of the Security Council and bring the number of member countries to 26 with at least two African states as permanent members with the right of veto”.

The Bretton Woods institutions are also called upon to review their way of life for Africa. Created in the aftermath of the Second World War, according to Paul today they have to do with world that has undergone many changes and Africa is not left out.

The question of the security situation prevailing in the crisis areas of the North-West and South-West was also mentioned during the exchange. The Cameroonian leader reassured his determination to resolve these differences based on the proposals made during the Grand National Dialogue. Recalling the complex history of his country which before the First World War was a German colony then switched to France and Britain, Paul Biya stressed on the difficulty posed by this juxtaposition of cultures on mentalities but also in areas such as the judiciary and the education system. His country, which he wants one and indivisible, must, despite this complexity, do with these two colonial legacies that do not always facilitate cohabitation.

Article de la rédaction AFRIC

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