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Reconciliation and elections define a ‘’NEW ERA ‘’ for Africa

12.02.2019
Article from AFRIC Editorial
The latest developments that have unfolded in the African Continent over the years have been so remarkable. Since his accession to the position of the Secretary-General of the United Nations Security Council, Antonio Guterres, has observed closely and with caution things that marked the Africa continent and made some assertions. According to the UN Chief, Africa has made enormous strides in making the continent a real destination for positive things, especially in consolidating peace. Citing the number of peaceful deals struck by various African governments and some remarkable elections on the continent, the UN boss said ‘’ a wind of hope’’ is blowing across Africa.

Though a simple statement, it remains philosophical in the African context, a continent that has known years of civil unrest, migrant Crisis, an upsurge in the number of terrorist attacks etc.  In spite of the setbacks, it would be an understatement if we deny that the African continent is not at the threshold of transformation.

RECONCILIATION DEALS IN AFRICA

For a while now, many independent researchers and pundits have argued that the assertion depicting Africa as a continent where its people believe in the philosophy of oneness and togetherness is becoming problematic, given the number of infighting recorded in Africa. Nation turned against nation, tribe against tribe, just to name a few. Even though Africa is a continent that is richly blessed, differences in ideologies have been a setback to a unified continent. But with the rebirth of a new Africa and a resurgence of different mindsets, these people are at the verge of settling their differences and coming together to build their fatherland. Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni once said that   Africa has all it takes to grow politically, economically and socially, but bemoaned that differences in ideologies and egoism have been a setback for the continent. Here are some of the remarkable events on the continent.

MOROCCO REJOINS THE AFRICAN UNION

Rabat in January 2017, returned to the African Union after over thirty years of absence. Morocco, one of Africa’s most growing economy has been seen by many to be isolated from the rest of the African continent due to its isolationism from the continent’s affairs.  It is worth noting that Rabat left the defunct organization of African Unity (O.A.U), now the African Union in 1984, when the body failed to rule in its favour and recognized the autonomy of Western Sahara, a territory which Morocco had always claimed to be in control. With anger and disappointment, the North African nation withdrew from Africa’s unifying and decision making institution.  In what is now called the African Union, Morocco’s bid to rejoin the organization attracted mixed feeling from member-states, but with the AU’s aim of bringing African nations together, 39 countries out of 55 countries, which are signatories to the AU validated the Rabat’s membership. However, King Mohammed, the sixth was urged to respect the internationally backed Western Sahara as an independent state. This was a great milestone and an achievement for the African Union to finally bring all African nations under one strong institution.

THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC PEACE ACCORD

The government of the Central African Republic and representatives of some 14 rebel groups on February 5, 2019, initialed a historic peace deal in Sudan’s capital Khartoum. The deal was part of efforts to end the sectarian violence which engulfed the CAR in 2012.  The historic milestone followed a series of intense talks in Khartoum backed by the AU and the United Nations.  Other nations such as France, Russia, Britain, and Chad witnessed the inking of this historic event that obliged both parties to shun violence. The following aspects were underlined during the talks;

  •  Both signatories recognized the “painful consequences and the scars of serious crimes”, promising never to repeat them.
  • They resolved to form a Truth, Justice, Reparation and Reconciliation Commission which will begin its work in 90 days.
  • They also pledged to respect the country’s constitution and to ensure free, fair and transparent elections.
  • President Touadera agreed to form an inclusive government.
  • A commission of inquiry will be opened to look into the crimes committed during the turbulent years.

These and many more characterized the recent CAR peace accord.

SOUTH SUDAN’S PEACE DEAL

The world’s youngest nation South Sudan is among those countries that sought to settle its political differences and rebuild the nation.  Salva Kiir, South Sudan’s president and his former deputy and main opposition figure Riek Machar had initialed a series of peace accords in Juba under the auspices of inter-governmental authority on development IGAD and other countries such as Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya. However, these deals didn’t yield fruits as they couldn’t halt the battles between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those of Riek Machar.  Notwithstanding, in late 2018, Sudan’s Al-Bashir brokered a deal between Slava Kiir and Riek Machar, under this new deal, former vice president Riek Machar agreed to return to Juba. Under a power-sharing deal, Machar is set to return in May, according to a UN envoy. Riek Machar has been on exile and living in Khartoum has sought medical treatment in South Africa.  South Sudan got independence in 2011, after separating from Sudan brokered a deal. But Political infighting started in 2013 when Salva fell out with Deputy Riek Machar.   The crisis has forced many nationals out of the country and many deaths have been recorded as a result of the turmoil.

The horn of Africa also made remarkable strides as far as reconciliation is concerned. Ethiopian premier Abiy Ahmed Ali and Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki ended their decades’ long conflicts, vowing to strengthen diplomatic ties.  Eritrea and Somalia also settled their differences, putting an end to a decade long conflicts between Asmara and Mogadishu.  It would be a gross exaggeration to say a ‘’wind of change’’ is not blowing across Africa.  A number of democratic elections in DRC, Madagascar, have also marked Africa’s political sphere. If a nation like Libya can head to the polls to conduct peaceful, free and fair elections, then Africa must have achieved a greater milestone in consolidating peace.

Article from AFRIC Editorial

Credit Images :google images/peace index/morocco join UA

Credit Images :google images/Africa peace accords

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