On 15 October, Africa joins hands with the people of Burkina Faso to celebrate the life and work of this great African icon.
Many nationalist leaders took up frontline roles to liberate their people from colonialism, regardless of the life-threatening conditions and consequences that prevailed at the time. African people were facing harsh conditions in their homelands due to colonial domination and exploitation. North of Ghana’s border is Burkina Faso, a country that owes its birth to a young, selfless and dynamic Pan-Africanist leader, Thomas Isidore Sankara. He was the leader of Burkina Faso’s revolutionary government from 1983 to 1987. To embody the new autonomy and rebirth, he renamed the country, changing from “Upper Volta” to “Burkina Faso”, which means “Land of Upright Men”.
(FILES) A file picture taken on February 7, 1986 shows Captain Thomas Sankara, President of Burkina Faso, giving a press conference in Paris. An autopsy on the supposed remains of Burkina Faso’s iconic ex-president Thomas Sankara, who was killed in a 1987 coup, showed he was ‘riddled with bullets”, a lawyer for his family said October 13, 2015. Lawyer Ambroise Farama emphasised she was still waiting for the results of DNA tests to confirm the body was that of the revolutionary former army captain but said “there is every reason to believe” the remains exhumed from a cemetery in the capital Ouagadougou in May were his. AFP PHOTO / PASCAL GEORGE
In an interview, Ernest Harsch, the biographer of Thomas Sankara, paints a vivid image of the remarkable personality of this legendary African icon:
He did not like the general pomp that came with the office. He was interested in ideas. He’d think for a while, then respond to your questions. In terms of public events, he really knew how to talk to people. He was a great orator. He loved to joke. He often played with the French language and coined new terms. He often made puns. So, he had a sense of humour. In Burkina Faso, you’d see him riding around the capital on a bicycle or walking around on foot without an entourage.
Such was the affability and the humility of Sankara.
On 15 October, Africa joins hands with the people of Burkina Faso to celebrate the life and work of this great African icon. The continent celebrates his unwavering commitment and dedication to the resistance of the continued oppression of the Burkinabe people by the colonial authority of France.
Sankara is also remembered for the strides he made to develop his country in areas of education, health and gender empowerment, as well as his fiery desire to eradicate corruption and its effects. This article highlights the legacy of Sankara, with a clear reflection of what he stood for in his lifetime. Juxtaposed with the life and legacy of this illustrious son of Africa, the last section looks at the general bankruptcy of leadership in Africa today.
Exactly what did Thomas Sankara want for his country?
Noel Nebie, a retired professor of economics, told Al-Jazeera: “Sankara wanted a thriving Burkina Faso, relying on local human and natural resources, as opposed to foreign aid, and starting with agriculture, which represents more than 32 percent of the country’s GDP and employs 80 percent of the working population. He smashed the economic elite who controlled most of the arable land and granted access to subsistence farmers. That improved production, making the country almost self-sufficient.”
As an ardent advocate of self-sufficiency and a strong opposition to foreign aid or intervention, Sankara held the conviction that “he who feeds you, controls you”.
Sankara’s foreign policy was largely focused on anti-imperialism, with his government shunning all foreign aid. He insisted on debt reduction, nationalising all land and mineral wealth, and averting the power and influence of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. His domestic policies were focused on preventing famine with agrarian self-sufficiency and land reform, prioritising education with a nationwide literacy campaign, and promoting public health by vaccinating 2,5 million children against meningitis, yellow fever and measles. As an ardent advocate of self-sufficiency and a strong opposition to foreign aid or intervention, Sankara held the conviction that “he who feeds you, controls you.” Sankara was vocal against the sustained neo-colonial penetration of Africa through Western trade and finance. He called for a united front of African nations to renounce their foreign debt and argued that the poor and exploited did not have an onus to repay money to the rich and exploiting. In a speech delivered by Sankara in October 1984, he declared, “I come here to bring you fraternal greetings from a country whose 7 million children, women and men refuse to die of hunger, ignorance and thirst any longer.”
Taking a similar stance to the revolutionaries Fidel Castro and Ernesto Che Guevara, Sankara voiced his displeasure over the arrogant treatment of the people of Burkina Faso by the rulers of the imperialist world. He vehemently criticised the impoverished conditions of the Burkinabe people and showed a strong determination to uphold the dignity of his people who had suffered savagely due to colonialism and neo-colonialism. Sankara had sworn to oppose the continued oppression of Africans and refused to subscribe to the economic bondage of class society and its unholy consequences.
To address prevailing land imbalances, Sankara embarked on a redistribution of land from the colonial ‘landlords’, returning it to the peasants. As a result, wheat production rose in three years from 1 700 kilogram per hectare to 3 800 kilogram per hectare, making the country self-sufficient in terms of food. He also campaigned against the importation of apples from France when Burkina Faso had tropical fruits that could not be sold. As a way to promote the growth of the local industry and national pride, Sankara impressed upon public servants to wear a traditional tunic, woven from Burkinabe cotton and sewn by Burkinabe craftsmen.
The modest nature of Sankara is one of the most prominent features of this African legend. He remained a humble leader who won the hearts and admiration of all his people and followers. He lived a relatively modest lifestyle, doing away with the luxuries widely associated with the oligarchs of Africa. As president, he had his salary cut to US$450 a month and reduced his possessions to a car, four bikes, three guitars, a fridge and a broken freezer. Sankara stood out from the leaders who led the freedom struggle for liberation in Africa. This was because he was a communist. He believed that “a world built on different economic and social foundations can be created not by technocrats, financial wizards or politicians, but by the masses of workers and peasants whose labour, joined with the riches of nature, is the source of all wealth”. A devoted Marxist, he drew inspiration for his fight for the emancipation of the working class from his belief that Marxism was not a set of “European ideals” that were alien to the class struggle in Africa.
Sankara agreed with the words of Marcus Mosiah Garvey: “Education is the medium through which a people can prepare for their own civilisation and the advancement and glory of their own race.” Sankara recognised the importance of education in order to liberate his people from colonial damnation.
He initiated a nation-wide literacy campaign, increasing the literacy rate from 13 percent in 1983 to 73 percent in 1987.
Sankara also understood the importance of women in the success of the revolution and the overall development of a nation. He empowered the women of Burkina Faso. As Pathfinder Press states, “From the very beginning, one of the hallmarks of the revolutionary course Sankara fought for was the mobilisation of women to fight for their emancipation.”
His commitment to women’s rights led him to outlaw female genital mutilation, forced marriages and polygamy, while appointing women to high governmental positions.
In October 1983, he declared in a speech that “the revolution and women’s liberation go together. We do not talk of women’s emancipation as an act of charity or out of a surge of human compassion. It is a basic necessity for the revolution to triumph. Women hold up the other half of the sky”. He appointed women to high governmental positions, encouraged them to work, recruited them into the military and granted pregnancy leave during education. His commitment to women’s rights led him to outlaw female genital mutilation, forced marriages and polygamy, while appointing women to high governmental positions.
Overthrow and death
On 15 October 1987, Thomas Sankara was murdered in a coup d’état, which was engineered by his trusted friend, brother and right-hand man in the revolution, Blaise Campaore. He was killed, along with 12 other officials, by his former colleague. Sankara’s body was dismembered and he was quickly buried in an unmarked grave, while his widow, Mariam, and their two children fled the nation. This was a disgraceful moment in the history of Burkina Faso. Campaore overturned most of Sankara’s policies and returned to the IMF. His dictatorship remained in power for 27 years until overthrown by popular protests in 2014.
General bankruptcy of leadership in Africa
At a time when Africans are desperately looking for development options and a way to regain an economically independent Africa, as envisaged by Sankara, Africa is bereft of such revolutionary-spirited leaders to spur on the fight for the economic emancipation and liberation of the continent. Much has been made of the discourse surrounding the potential re-colonisation of Africa by the emerging neo-colonial ‘kid on the block’—China.
October 14 marked the anniversary of the passing of another of Africa’s founding fathers of Pan Africanism, Julius Mwalimu Kambarage Nyere. In moments such as these, African leaders must revisit the ideals of these selfless leaders, who wished for nothing but the total emancipation of the African continent. Just as Sankara professed a week before his dastardly murder, “While revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill ideas.”
Poor governance is one of the factors that have plunged the continent into extreme levels of poverty and the far-reaching effects of low standards of living. Governance among Africans has been plagued with political and economic failures and this has seemingly provided proof of the incapability of Africans to rule themselves.
African governments are characterised by corruption, nepotism and political instability. Tsenay Serequerberhan (1998) posited that, “In fact, the 1970s and the 1980s have already been for Africa a period of ‘endemic famine’ orchestrated by the criminal incompetence and political subservience of African governments to European, North American and Soviet interests.” Corruption among leaders on the African continent has been a major setback to Africa’s attempt to realise successes in the globalised economy. This canker on the continent has blinded the leaders of Africa to appreciate the altruistic purpose for which they have been placed at the helm of affairs of the state. It is almost impossible to dissociate extreme poverty and wilful inequality from countries faced with sky-high levels of corruption. It is not an issue that affects governance only at the national level, but it also undermines collective African efforts at addressing common developmental challenges.
Corruption in Africa has helped to further concentrate income and wealth, which ought to be directed towards the development of her people, in the hands of the privileged few, to the detriment ofmany through the unequal and inequitable distribution of resources. Africa’s inability on the part of governments to deal effectively with poverty has been, to a large extent, due to corruption. Pan Africanism has lost its shine among African leaders, with African governments still under the shackles of neo-colonialism. The Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union) was meant to be a glowing reflection of the achievements of Pan Africanism, but is nothing but a laughing stock that cannot fund its own budget: An office complex to host its meetings had to be a ‘gift’ from China. On a day when we celebrate the revolutionary spirit of Thomas Sankara, it is imperative to realise that “African leaders have so much to learn from Sankara about humility and public service”, as was said by Samsk Le Jah, a musician. For Alex Duval Smith, “While Burkina Faso’s former leader may not be the poster boy of revolution, like Argentine-born Che Guevara, many taxis across West Africa have a round sticker of him in his beret on their windscreens.”
Nile Explorer Editor
“It is a prize given to Africa, given to Ethiopia and I can imagine that the rest of Africa’s leaders will take it positively to work on (the) peace-building process on our continent.” This was the reaction of Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s prime minister, when he was told by the secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee that he was the winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
The announcement on Oct. 11 by the committee was far from a surprise. Abiy, 43, had been bookmakers’ second favorite to win, behind the teenage Swedish climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg.
Still, the decision amounted to profound recognition of the efforts and success of an indefatigable peacemaker in a continent wracked by conflict and violence.
The Nobel Peace Prize will be presented in Oslo on Dec. 10 on the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death.
The Ethiopian leader’s biggest achievement to date is ending two decades of hostility and restoring ties with long-term enemy Eritrea that had been frozen since a 1998-2000 border war. “I have said often that winds of hope are blowing ever stronger across Africa. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is one of the main reasons why,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The Nobel Peace Prize will be presented in Oslo on Dec. 10 on the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death. (AFP)
During the border war, Abiy, who was born in Ethiopia to a Muslim father and Christian mother, led a spy team on a reconnaissance mission into areas held by the Eritrean Defence Forces. But when he became prime minister, he was quick to launch a peace offensive.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee said Abiy was honored for his “decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea.”
However, it added that the prize is “meant to recognize all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the east and northeast African regions.
“Peace does not arise from the actions of one party alone. When Prime Minister Abiy reached out his hand, President (Isaias) Afwerki grasped it, and helped to formalise the peace process between the two countries.
“The Norwegian Nobel Committee hopes the peace agreement will help to bring about positive change for the entire populations of Ethiopia and Eritrea.”
9 million – Value of the Nobel Peace Prize in Swedish crowns
301 – Candidates who were nominated for the award
The principles of the agreement are set out in the declarations that Abiy and Afwerki signed in Asmara, the Eritrean capital, and in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah in July and September of last year.
Dan Smith, head of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, said by choosing Abiy, the committee is seeking to encourage the peace process, echoing the 1994 peace prize shared by Israeli and Palestinian leaders and the 1993 award for moves toward reconciliation in South Africa.
“It is a case of wanting a constructive intervention in the peace process … to give leverage and encouragement,” he said.
“The challenge now is internal for Abiy, with Ethiopia needing to deal with the consequences of long-term violence, including 3 million displaced people and the need to continue the political process.”
Abiy took office in April 2018 after the resignation of Hailemariam Desalegn following three years of violent anti-government protests in Africa’s second-most populous country.
The ruling coalition had already begun making conciliatory measures, but it was Abiy who sped up the reforms.
After securing peace with Eritrea, he swiftly released dissidents from jail, apologized for state brutality and welcomed home exiled armed groups. Those actions sparked optimism in a region blighted by violence.
Since then, Abiy has played a significant role in bringing peace to the Horn of Africa region, from Sudan to Somalia and Djibouti, all of which at some time have had border disputes. Small wonder, then, fellow African leaders were among the first to congratulate him.
The “warmest felicitations” were sent by Liberian President George Weah, who said in a tweet: “I hereby join the rest of Africa and the world at large in celebrating with the great people of Ethiopia and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for winning the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Award.”
Somalian President Mohamed Farmaajo called Abiy a “deserving winner” via Twitter, adding “I have enjoyed working with him on strengthening regional cooperation.”
Meanwhile, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo said the award was “a reminder to us all that peace is one of the most critical ingredients needed to make Africa successful.”
Speaking to CNN, Biniam Getaneh, an Ethiopian poet and writer, described the award as a “big win” not only for Abiy and Ethiopia but for Africa, too. “Despite the shortcomings of the reform he introduced and the man himself, I believe he is deserving of this international recognition simply for his peace efforts with Eritrea,” he said.
Congratulations came in from Arab leaders, too. “My sincere congratulations to my dear friend Dr. Abiy Ahmed on winning the #NobelPeacePrize,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, said in a tweet.
“He is a wise man who has brought peace and hope to his country and region. The prize is a well-deserved honour for an extraordinary leader.”
Abiy visited the Gulf in July last year, when he and Afwerki were honored with the UAE’s highest civil honor for their reconciliation efforts. Sheikh Mohammed had conferred the Order of Zayed on the two leaders on that occasion.
Ethiopian town of Zala Ambesa where there were clashes with Eritrean forces during a border war between the two countries in the late 1990s.
In addition to resolving the border dispute with Eritrea, Abiy’s government has promised to liberalize the bureaucratic, state-controlled Ethiopian economy, overturned bans on many political parties and dismissed or arrested many senior officials accused of corruption, torture or murder.
Despite the abundant international recognition for his work, however, Abiy faces big challenges, with many wondering if he can control the political forces he has unleashed in a country of 100 million people.
The biggest threats appear to come from elements within the ruling coalition who feel disempowered and from new, ethnically based parties eager to flex their muscles in next year’s elections.
Abiy survived an assassination attempt amid riots in June 2016 and faced down a mutiny from his own military by challenging — and then defeating — them in a push-up competition.
The loosening of political freedoms means that many regional power brokers are demanding more influence and resources, fueling ethnic conflicts around the country.
In June, a rogue state militia leader killed the head of the Amhara region and other senior officials in what the government described as a regional coup attempt.
Abiy also faces high expectations from young Ethiopians who want jobs, development and opportunities, and feel the government still has much to do to improve daily life in the country.
The same sentiments were echoed by Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, who said: “There is a lot achieved already in reforming Ethiopia to a democracy, but there is also a long way to go. Rome was not made in a day and neither will peace or democratic development be achieved in a short period of time.”
Writer/Author: Dr Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey PHD
Lands and Borders: Something must be mysterious, mischievous or misleading South Sudanese politicians over issue of lands, community borders and regional boundaries.
Not much is known about lands and borders conflicts among the people of South Sudan until the coming of the British colonial authority in 1899. However, there had been movements of people from one place to another for reasons of natural disasters, wars or running away from Turks and Arabs human slavers-adventurers. Those immigrations stopped as from 1899, when the British took over the land and governed it until first January 1956.
Our masters then, the British, who told us to have liberated us from slavery, changed their minds and handed us back into slavery and Arabs racism in Khartoum in 1946. Collectively, South Sudanese rejected the annexation of South Sudan and unification arrangements with Khartoum and took up arms in August 1955.
In January 2005, the Arms liberation movement: The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM/ARMY), led by firmly abled leader, Dr. John Garang de Mabior, prevailed over and negotiated the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) with Khartoum-Arabs’ government. Dr. John was fully aware of the lands and borders conflicts that would surface during and after the implementation of the CPA. Garang wanted the land of Sudan to belong to communities and not to belong to public (government), since the Sudan government was/is the main thief of the communities’ lands.
As South Sudan processed to move away from Sudan in 2005, the borders were not the same in accordance with the decolonization’s international law declared by UN and Confirmed by the AU: that “the former African colonies shall adopt the colonial borders and boundaries as they stand from the date, month and year of the independence.” Thus the CPA stipulates that the borders and boundaries between Sudan and South Sudan shall remain as they stood on 1.1.1956, the time the British left Khartoum.
With assumptions and without verification of the borders at the time, the Interim Government of Southern Sudan inherited the decentralized system of 25 states’ prescribed-constitution and hurried up to Juba to govern the ten states. Definitely, these same politicians who have been in war against one another, are the ones masterminding the disinformation and propaganda, accusing the Dinka community of the famous lands-grabbing and thieving. Shamefully incredible!
Coming next: is there really mistaken solution in regards to proposals and counter proposals of states: 10, 21, 28, 32 or Equatoria’s 39?
Writer/Author: Dr Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey PHD
Let me, on my own, welcome Dr. Riek Machar Teny, his accompanying delegation and friends of peace to Juba. I have witnessed, through YouTube video images at Juba Airport, the warm reception, accorded to him, inclusively by the public at large, the Government of President Salva Kiir and some leaders of political parties. I guest that the reception was not for a war hero, but for a peace hero. People of South Sudan are peace lovers. They had fought a just war, 1955-2005, to liberate themselves and their country, from Arabs racial domination and colonialism. Thus making the Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS), the only hope and the way forward available for a genuine peace, change and unity of the country.
The coming of Dr. Riek Machar today, 9 September 2019, to Juba should effect a way forward in the implementation of R-ARCSS of September 2018. The delay to implement the R-ARCSS “letter and Spirit” confirms the statement that “politicians lack political will.” This statement should be ended for good. Among many questions being asked is “what are the issues expected to be resolved by President Salva and Dr. Riek?”
President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar meetings may break the blockade over the slow or lazy implementation of gate-opening issues to a successful peace deals. These gate-opening issues to the “wholesale”
successful implementation of R-ARCSS, are seen, among others to be: (a) the security arrangements and formation of the National army; (b) restoration of freedoms: assembly, press, democracy and the rule of law. This will pave the way to free movements of people including the returning refugees and the returning IDPs to their original homes, and (c) the funding to enforce the implementation smoothly timely.
Finally, the two leaders, Salva and Riek are expected to share views on national dialogue, reconciliation and and facets of shared value forgiveness, thus generating the lost trust and confidence. If this last meetings between the two leaders fail again, then South Sudan shall join the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Libya or Colombia in Latin America. We shouldn’t!
By Yasin Sentiba a.k.a Yacn Wv for Sportsdesk
No one saw Goal Line and VAR technology coming to the beautiful game of football, but it was a call away. After the Frank Lampard goal didn’t stand in the 2010 World Cup fixture of Germany vs England were England eventually lost 4 – 1 had it been counted it would have been level 2 – 2 and who knows what would happen. Such goals especially the back in bar( crossbar goal ) as commonly kwown had a lot of questions on them especially not being awarded yet they had crossed the line an example was Pedro Mendez goal against Manchester United in 2005 in the premier league and the referees failure to award such goal gave birth to Goal line technology FIFA organized football events and across the Europeans Top leagues.
In 2012 FIFA World Cup goal line technology was introduced and top leagues in Europe embraced it however many football lovers always complained how it kills the rivalry of the game urging that its nature and it should be left out however a lot of questions were left un answered since Goal line technology only catered for the Ball crossing the Goal Line and didn’t look at the entire build up of the game. Due to the many unanswered questions in the Goal Line technology, this asked for a more advanced system which was later found and called VIDEO ASSISTANT REFEREE (VAR).
VAR is described as a match official who reviews decisions made by the centre referee with use of video footage and a headset communication. This was design look at mainly four aspects of football i.e
1. Goal/ No Goal , if an attacking team commits an offense ball in play, ball entering goal, offside, handball, offenses and encroachment during penalty kicks.the best example here is Thieny Henry’s handball goal against Ireland at the state de France in the second leg of the World Cup playoffs match in 2009, Ireland were cruelly denied when France qualified with a goal which should have been disallowed. Thierry Henry cleared handed the ball before setting up William Gallas to equalize on the night and go 2 – 1 head on aggregate.
2. Penalty/ No Penalty, Robert Pires winning a foul in the crystal palace box in the 2004 where palace were leading One Nil against Arsenal, equalizing it from a penalty spot the game ending 1 – 1 who know if hadn’t been for the Pires fouling of the referee Palace would have made Arsenal not have gone the entire season unbeaten.
3. Mistaken identity, As many football players have been booked and eventually sent off due to mistaken identity for example Cris Foy the centre referee booked Fabio da Silva of instead of his twin bother Rafael da Silva in the fixture of Manchester United vs Barnsley in the carling cup 2009-2010 season Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs mistakenly being sent off against Chelsea in the 2014 season insteady of Oxlade Chambalian.
4. Direct red card. This reminds us Abdul Kader Keita – Kaka in the Brazil vs Ivory Coast incident at the World Cup 2010 were Kaka was given a red card that should have not should and many football lovers described the incident as a totally unjustified sending off.
VAR initiative trying to bring out the equal game slogan of FIFA. VAR has caused so many contravecies in football on who should make the calls, when should VAR be reveiwed and when should the center referee go and check on the side screens. This has rose many eye brows of football lovers globally saying how it it killing beautiful games joy especially when awrongly scored goal is cancelled but all fans forget is that when one side walks away with unsporting behavior it’s killing the game and when awrongfull scored goal is cancelled, the other teams supporters and fan jubilate, all in all jubilation and joy still remains.
Many football fans and critics are saying how VAR is killing the intensity of the game saying how it’s time wasting but what is wrong with stopping play to correct the wrong. Like Jose Felix Mourinho put it only thrives will complain when cameras are installed.
Yasin Sentiba a.k.a Yacn Wv
Adopted by the Peace and Security Council during its 868th meeting held on 14 August 2019 on state of foreign military presence in Africa: Implications on the implementation of the Common African Defence and Security Policy:
The Peace and Security Council,
Taking note of the statement made by H.E. Albert Ranganai Chimbindi, Ambassador of the Republic of Zimbabwe to the AU and Chairperson of the PSC for the month of August 2019, and the presentations made by Dr. Admore Kambudzi, Director of Peace and Security Department on behalf of the Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui; also taking note of the presentation by Ambassador Kio Amieyeofori, on behalf of the Chairperson of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA), Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar; Further taking note of the statements made by the representatives of China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States of America, as well as by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO);
Recalling its previous pronouncements on the issue of foreign military presence and external interference in Africa’s affairs, particularly communique PSC/PR/COMM(DCI) adopted at its 601st meeting held on 30 May 2016; communique PSC/PR/COMM(DCCLXXVI) adopted at its 776th meeting held on 24 May 2018; communique PSC/PR/COMM(DCCCXXIV) adopted at its 824th meeting held on 5 February 2019; and most recently, communique PSC/PR/COMM(DCCCLVII) adopted at its 857th meeting held on 5 July 2019, and communique PSC/PR/COMM(DCCCLXV) adopted at its 865th meeting held on 7 August 2019; In the above-mentioned communiques, the PSC strongly condemned the external interference, by whomsoever, into African peace and security issues, and warned that it will proceed to naming and shaming those involved in order to address this problem;
Underling the need for full implementation of Article 7(l) of the PSC Protocol emphasizing that external initiatives in the field of peace and security on the Continent take place within the framework of the Union’s objective and priorities as outlined in the AU relevant instruments;
Taking note of the fact that some AU Member States, within their sovereign status, have entered into bilateral and multilateral arrangements with non-African partners with a view to addressing and containing threats to peace and security on their respective territories.
Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council:
- Notes with concern over the increase in the establishment of foreign military presence and military bases in Africa; emphasizes that the defence and security of one country in Africa is directly linked to that of others as provided for in the Common African Defence and Security Policy and also in the AU Non-Aggression Pact; in this regard, underlines that these AU instruments constitute the bedrock of Africa’s collective defence and security; further expresses deep concern that albeit this increase of foreign military presence and military bases in different parts of the continent, the threats which they are supposedly expected to neutralize, continue to increase an intensity and geographic expansion in different parts of the Continent; also expresses concern that foreign military presence and military bases are contributing to the risk of rivalry and competition among foreign powers within Africa and undermining national sovereignty and peace efforts;
- Strongly condemns any external interference into the Africa’s peace and security affairs and urges that all external support to peace and security in Africa should be well coordinated and directed towards achieving AU’s objectives and priorities and should be provided within the framework of the relevant AU instruments;
- While appreciating the support of partners in the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa, emphasizes that AU Member States and the AU Commission should enhance their efforts in popularizing and providing effective support towards the implementation of the Common African Defence and Security Policy and African States should guarantee that any external support, either bilateral or multilateral, is in conformity with this Policy;
- Underscores that collective defence and security in Africa is of high importance, taking into consideration the rapid increase of foreign military presence in the Continent; in this regard, appeals to all AU Member States that decide to host foreign military entities/bases in their countries to deploy necessary efforts to inform their neighbours, their respective Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanism (RECs/RMs) and the African Union and ensure that the signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) are in conformity with the provisions of the Common African Defence and Security Policy and other relevant AU policies on defence and security and that they contribute towards the objectives and priorities of the AU;
- Emphasizes the need for the AU Commission and the RECs/RMs to redouble their efforts to ensure the operationalization of the African Standby Force (ASF), which is the primary home-grown model in the Continent, to enable Africa to enhance its defence and security arrangements for AU Member States and their people; such a capability would provide Africa with the means to timeously respond to threats to peace and security; furthermore, stresses the importance for African countries to put more focus on capacitating their national forces, as well as promote intelligence sharing among themselves;
- Emphasizes the primary role of the African countries in managing their internal affairs and reaffirms its commitment to respect the sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity of each African state; therefore, encourages to all AU Member States which need support in capacitating their national defence and security forces and institutions to explore available avenues in the United Nations (UN) system and those in the RECs/RMs to provide such support, with a view to continue building mutual trust, confidence and collective capabilities and strength among African countries;
- Encourages AU Member States to enter into bilateral agreements in the matters of common interests on peace and security, in order to enhance coordination and share expertise and experience; further encourages Member States to emulate best practices on military operations among African states and RECs/RMs in addressing threats to peace and security and sustaining stability;
- Underscores the important role played by information, experience and intelligence sharing platforms, such as the Nouakchott and Djibouti Processes and calls for their further strengthening at higher political level; further stresses the need for promoting similar processes in other regions of the Continent;
- Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to regularly brief the Council on the status of the implementation of the Common African Defence and Security Policy and other relevant AU instruments on defence and security in the continent, in line with Article 14 of the Preamble of the Solemn Declaration of the Common African Defence and Security Policy, with a view to providing the opportunity to Council to review implementation and address any challenges that may be identified; In this regard, agrees to receive such briefing at least twice a year with the participation of CISSA;
- Requests the PSC Military Staff Committee to undertake a comprehensive study on foreign military presence and military bases in Africa, its advantages and disadvantages and submit proposals on the way forward for consideration by the PSC; in this context, agrees to provide a special report, within the spirit of the efforts to silence the guns in Africa, and to do so simultaneously with the report of the PSC on its Activities and the State of Peace and Security in Africa to the ordinary session of the Assembly of the AU to take place in January/February 2020;
- Decides to remain seized of the matter.