BY ABBATI BAKO,psc,bsis,UK
The current crisis in Tigray in Ethiopia and the unfortunate separation of S/Sudan is very lamenting and unfortunate. And the root cause of crises in Africa has been as a result of five key issues
1. Bad governance
3. Population crisis
4. Trapped resources and
5. land locked that restricting the African societies to develop politically, economically and socially. If positive change has not been done African Continent will remain in doom.
The current President of S/Sudan Salva Kiir is from majority Dinka and former V/C President has been in political turmoil since 2012. The number of atrocities have been reported; thousands of people have sough refuge and thousands of people have been killed in the civil war fighting. The Southern Sudan have voted in a referendum last nine years to separate themselves from the Republic of Sudan for the simple reason that they have oil in the area and they are granted independence by Sudan in 2012.
Therefore, they became the 54th African Union member and 179 member of United Nations (UN). But the question one may ask is why the Africans are still fighting each other since 1960th despite the fact that the world has been in globalization/digital era? Why African leaders never learn a lesson? Why Africa still under developed? Does the cause of the problems from African stakeholders or foreign stakeholders? When shall Africa Nations be politically, economically and socially free?
Let’s always remember that European Union with 27 (after the Brexit of England) countries with 510 million population as members should be an excellent example for African leaders. No nation or society can achieve any meaningful development without cooperation among its Political leadership and Economic stakeholders.
Political power mongering, greediness and self enrichment over night must be avoided. Otherwise, Africa will remain in darkness and under develop for decades; despite the 1.3 Billion population and unlimited resources in the continent (60 percent of global resources are in Africa). Africa is the most resourceful continent with about 1/7th of the world population or to say 17percent of global population but Africa still the most backward, poor and uneducated Continent.
The Nigeria’s Niger Delta region must learn a lesson from S/Sudan for the fact that some of the unpatriotic among them agitating for disintegration of Nigeria because of the reason that the oil resources are from that area. How sure would they be at peace if Nigeria disintegrated? The unpatriotic among them must think twice on the ongoing civil war in S/Sudan and Ethiopia. That must be a lesson for the wise to learn. The only path to develop any nation is understanding, patriotism, commitment, unity of purpose and cooperation among the regions and all citizens and leaders of Nigerian nation China and India is an excellent example.
The UN Peace keeping operations in S/Sudan and UN Charter
Peacekeeping Operations is an important subject matter since the inception of United Nations for the past 75 years. The importance attached to this gigantic work, scholars and experts have had written so much about. It has been agreed that, peacekeeping operations is one of the major development that has not been directly reflected in UN Charter. There is no clear cut Chapter in UN Charter which a word “Peacekeeping” mention therein. In Chapter V1 Article 37.2 there is no word ‘peacekeeping’. But some argue that, Chapter V11 Articles 41 and 42 will be applied to re-store and maintain peace and stability in any nation. Still there is no specific or direct answer to peacekeeping operations in case of breach of peace, act or aggression against any nation. Although some experts suggests that, “Chapter X11 of UN Charter ‘The Responsibility to Protect can give purposeful guidance on Peacekeeping Operations” Simon C. 2004 ed. but still there must be need to amend the Charter.
The discourse to amend the UN Charter or create a military and police force directly under United Nations control has been a subject of discussions since the formations of United Nations. The Canadian Foreign Minister Lester B. Pearson once suggested in (1956) after the invasion of Suez and crises broke out that, the need for “a truly international peace and police force” (Simon C. 2004, Pp103).
Former UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld Located in the interstices between the peace coercive measures available to the Security Council- “Chapter V1 & 1/2 as he famously called it” Simon C. 2004, ‘You the Peoples’ Pp103.I understand that, it is surprising or even confusing; why the fast leaders of UN ignored the importance of Peacekeeping operations, and not being mention in the Charter? While most nations of the World suffered tremendously in fighting wars and conflicts. (Europe suffered worst than any part of the World).
“The action lay in Chapter six and a half as Dag Hammarskjöld and Lester Pearson were shaping it, initially to constrain the folly of two of the Permanent Members- Britain and France- at Suez, then to ease the process of decolonization and keep it, as far as possible, out of the cold war and, in so doing giving the Secretary, for a while a free eminent role in peace and security matters in the UN frame work’ (A.J.R. Groom, 2007 Kent,UK). This clearly indicated that, the fast UN leaders neglected to amend UN Charter to signified the importance of peace keeping operations, just to serve the interest of the “big three” then.
“At San Francisco Conference that led to the adoption of the Charter in 1945, Norway proposed to amend the Chapter V11 enforcement powers of the Council to provide that it should, in special cases, temporarily assume the administration of a territory if the administration of the occupant state it self represented a threat to the peace.” (Simon C. 2004, You the Peoples, Pp50). By and large, if the proposal suggested by Norway at that time were accepted, the issues of Chapter six and a half wound have been a history.
Since the inceptions of United Nation in 1945 there have been lots of success stories about peacekeeping operations around the world. Peacekeeping operations in some Countries like Lebanon, Cambodia, Rwanda, SerLeon, Liberia, East Timor, Kosovo, Cyprus, Angola, Namibia, Western Sahara and many more; mostly success have been achieved. “The capacity of UN in its economic and social work, and its management of peacekeeping and post conflict reconstruction has expanded since 1990” (Baylis J. 2008 fourth ed).
Also UN in Namibia 1989- 1990, Cambodia 1992- 1993 ‘involving 22,000 military and civilian personnel at a cost of 1.6 billion USD over its eighteen months operations ‘Simon C.2004, Pp.73, and Eastern Slovenia in 1996- 1998, are all a success stories. All these will go into history as an achievement and developments in building peace among the Nations of the World. Mission in Kosovo in 1999 and East Timor in 1999- 2002 has been written in history with the golden pen in UN Peacekeeping operations, and efforts made by the UN to build Government activities by using institutions in those Nations is historical also a commendable efforts.
The wars in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan (just finished) and UN efforts to maintain peace and stability and sustain democratic practice are major developments. The UN Department of peacekeeping operations (DPKO) must be commended for their tireless efforts to keep the World at peace.
Although they used to suffer from traumatic pains, including the killing of their personnel in October 2009 in Iraq and even the historic killing of 250 of their staff (including Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld) in Congo in early 1960s. They must learn lesson from the past as why they suffered such casualties? And preventive measures has to be taken.
“Peacekeeping, is not a job for soldiers, but only a soldier can do it” Dag Hammarskjöld.
If peacekeeping operations measures were not taken by the UN in some Countries of the World, some wars and conflicts would have last for decades. This writing understand the need viewed by some Scholars and experts that, amendment must be made in UN Charter to ensure establishments of UN military personnel, directly under DPKO, or Security Council. “If the Security Council at present time does reflect in a crude way the global military structure, it is intended that there should be an element of geographical representation from all regions” (A.J.R. Groom, Kent, University, UK, 2007).
Whenever there is success, there may be failure. There are some questions need to be asked. Why UN still failed in Somalia, Daffur, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda? And why UN succeeded in Kosovo, Cyprus, and Lebanon? Can UN succeed in S/Sudan and Ethiopia as the crises still ongoing?
In Labor Party Conference in October 2001, former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s address on “Ethical Foreign Policy” speech, he pledge international action against the Taliban, he went further, proclaiming a moral duty to intervene across the World, wherever necessary- in Kosovo or even in Central Africa. “If Rwanda happened again today, as it did in 1993, he said where a million people were slaughtered in cold blood, we would have a moral duty to act there also” he declared.
In this respect, one may ask; whether foreign policy matter is really about morality or interest? One time Foreign Secretary of Britain Lord Palmerrston, once said “we have no eternal allies and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interest is perpetual and eternal and those interests it’s our duty to follow”. And again, the issue of Rwanda is now history, what of S/Sudan, Ethiopia and Daffur today? What of Somalia?
Further more; the UK’s Government approach to the meaning of globalization is no country can afford to ignore famine, war or human right abuses in anywhere in the World. Tony Blair once said that when Milosevic embarked on the ethnic cleansing of Muslim in Kosovo we acted. The skeptics said it was pointless, we had make matters worst, we had make Milosevic stronger, and look what happened. We now won, the refugees went home, the policies of ethnic cleansing, were reversed and one of the great dictators of the last century will see the justice in this century.
The UN Charter, Chapter 1. Article 1. 2. 3 and 4 are clear on the purposes of United Nations. Article 2. 1 and 3 on sovereign equality of all member nations. Also Chapter V11 “the responsibility to protect”. The leaders of UN must always ensure equality, fairness and justice among member Nations.
The issue of security for Human kind does not stop at using military or police alone, also guaranteeing the security and safety of all Citizens of the World from infectious diseases. According to distinguish Scholar ( Professor A. J. R Groom of Kent University) there is need for “Security from infectious diseases” (April 2007). Truth must be told that diseases are killing people especially in less developed nations of Africa, Latin America and Asia. This is very alarming. Diseases such as Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, (Aids) Malaria, tuberculosis (T. B) Polio mellitus, Measles, Whooping cough, Tetanus, Covid19 pandamic and many more and the ongoing Covid-19 Pandamimic. These diseases are killing people more than the war and conflicts do.
The summit of 24 October 2005 made Resolution for establishing “Peace Building Commission and Human Right Council” if this could be done; will be more- major developments in UN activities. The UN Security Council has to address this issues for the benefit of “You the Peoples”. The civil war in S/Sudan and Tigray must be resolved politically. Not by sending UN peacekeeping personal.
Conclusively, what happened and what is happening in those countries is a lesson for Nigerians that the only way to nation’s development and economic prosperity is unity, stability and good governance. The World may continue as a Democractic World based on Globalization Policy possibly with no boundaries and disappearance of Political Parties for Nations governance. The future is for the Nations with visionary, knowledgeable, patriotic and Political will.
Dr. Abbati Bako,MA,psc,bsis,Kent,UK,Doc.pl.sc
political strategy and communication consultant, Nigeria and Special Adviser to the Governor of Kano State on Public Affairs