ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) --
Prevention of conflicts rather than administering
existing conflicts should become priority for Africans, urged
participants at the 7th Tana High-Level Forum on
Security in Africa on Sunday.
The forum, held in
the northern Ethiopia city of Bahir Dar from April 21-22, drew
hundreds of participants, including current and former heads of
state and government, high-ranking government officials, experts
in peace and security, members of academia, youth
representatives and the media.
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said African nations should
stop blaming external actors for conflicts and instead work
toward building local capacity and infrastructure that can build
sustainable peace and security.
“The tens of
billions of U.S. dollars spent on the peacekeeping mission in
the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) could have been used
instead to build up the country’s infrastructure and support
better governance,” he said.
Instead of planning
for management of existing conflicts, nations should instead use
finances to prevent conflicts in the first case, Desalegn said.
He called on African
states and the global community to identify early on potential
conflict hotspots and adopt clear and transparent discourse to
Desalegn said the
African Union and member states should be concerned about and
strive to prevent potential conflict in what he called the
militarization of the Red Sea strait.
His warning was
echoed by AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui,
who pointed out that Africa’s Sahel region, beset by criminals
and terrorists, is at its root suffering from bad governance.
“AU member states
should contribute funds that go into ensuring the continent’s
security challenges like Darfur and Central African Republic are
resolved and potential new ones are averted,” he said.
management of present conflicts and prevention of future ones
are impacted by fragmentation of efforts by the international
community and the lack of compelling narratives to engage in
sustainable conflict prevention.
and security narratives help us to engage in sustainable
conflict prevention and coordinate effective response to
transnational security threats,” he said.
Outgoing Tana Forum
chairperson and former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, for
his part, said conflicts in the DRC, South Sudan, Burundi and
Somalia resulted from failures of conflict resolution efforts.
He called on the AU,
instead of devoting too much time to its Agenda 2063 vision, to
focus on present peace and security challenges that
disproportionately affect the youth.
U.S. envoy to the
African Union, Mary Beth Leonard, said intervention in crises
when especially governments turn abusive should be one way to
prevent conflict outbreak.
the case of the South Sudan civil war, which she said has been
ongoing mercilessly since December 2013 because of lack of
compelling threat of retaliation to perpetrators of the
South Sudan has been
embroiled in more than four years of conflict that has taken a
devastating toll on the people, creating one of the most severe
refugee crises in the world.
The world’s newest
nation descended into violence after a political dispute between
President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar led to
split in the army, leaving soldiers to fight alongside ethnic