- Published on Tuesday, 12 April 2011 12:50
Africa: Call For African Political Leaders To Apply President Nelson Mandela's Peaceful Reconciliatory Conflict Resolution Model To Avoid Needless Bloodshed
The Council for Afrika International makes an emphatic progressive patriotic advocacy for African Political Leaders to emulate the selfless wisdom of political leadership courageously exhibited by the first African President of South Africa Madiba Nelson Rohlilahla Mandela and adopt a fundamentally peaceful model of resolving political impasse, stalemates, misunderstandings and conflicts. No African political leader has sacrificed and suffered more than former President Mandela including 27 years in the notorious Robben Island Prison, and yet rather than resort to a policy of reprisals, recriminations and victimisation, chose the pathway of non-violence, non-bloodshed, truth, reconciliation and peaceful multi-ethnic, multi-racial coexistence. President Mandela could have chosen to wage a war of justified vendetta on the institution of apartheid and its apparatchiks in the light of the brutal and inhuman crimes of separate development that the majority Africans were subjected to for centuries. Tempting and easy as this option was for a Head of State with tremendous international stature, gravitas, respect and influence, President Mandela rather chose the model of political maturity, sophistication and peace.
In the light of the ongoing political violence in Africa, Afrika International draws the attention of all Africa's political leaders to the repeatable brave example, with due consideration of specific country particularisms, of President Nelson Mandela and become flag-bearers of peaceful politics, instead of the selfless unleashing of violence on citizens, whether combatant or non-combatant civilians. Afrika International cautions Africa's political leadership to be mindful that blood-shedding of innocent civilians is a crime punishable by law, dangerous and evil covenant, which creates long-term negative karmas for generations by direct and indirect perpetrators and is in the best interest of responsible political leadership to avoid it.
Importantly, Afrika International stresses the high risks of the vain personalisation of political leadership and power which are tragically part-characteristic of the body politic in Africa, but without any success in delivering the mass citizenship economic prosperity which was the ultimate vision of the architects and pioneers of the African liberation and decolonisation process, a reality that blights contemporary Africans and threatens the welfare of future generations. Within this context, the least expected of African politicians is to protect the lives of citizens, not to unleash bloodshed to selfishly access or cling on to political power.
Dr Koku Adomdza, President of the Council for Afrika International, commented that “We condemn the continued bloodshed in Africa as a result of struggle for political power as we have in the Ivory Coast and elsewhere. We do not see the same keenness to eradicate poverty that afflicts the majority of citizens once politicians settle into power, regardless of how glorious party political manifestoes read. And yet, there is unashamed flexing of muscles and the setting of citizens against citizens, nationals against nationals, tribes against tribes, clans against clans, religion against religion to get into political office, while living in relative comfort. Besides the atrocities of colonialism, and the liberation wars, Africa has experienced these atrocities in Angola, the Congo, Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Kenya and now Ivory Coast.
”Not only are these irrational practices selfish, cruel, revolting, disgraceful, nauseating, but also dilutes the significance of self-rule, self-governance which must be avoided by political sophisticates. We urge President Gbagbo and Quattara to call for an immediate truce and come to a swift but stable peaceful end, without delay. With due respect, the lives of Gbagbo and Quattara or any other Africans in Leadership are no more precious than the lives of those who have died and continue to die. The sheer human cost and the sight of Ivorian dead bodies, massacred by fellow Ivorian Soldiers are not only heart-wrenching but indictment of the political culture in the Ivory Coast, Libya and other parts of the African Continent.
"Further, it is entirely a disgrace for the United Nations, African Union and its regional bodies to have proven so incompetent in utilising diplomatic, negotiating and peace approaches to avoid the bloodshed that we see in Africa. From Apartheid South African, Rwanda, Liberia, Angola, Congo, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya to the Ivory Coast, the UN is lacking competence in peaceful conflict prevention and only intervenes after human lives are lost, after 60 years of existence. The African Union has been in existence for some 50 years, and yet has failed to attain Continental Unity and lacks the necessary diplomatic and military credibility, influence and competence to attain peaceful conflict resolution on the continent, allowing external regional bodies to superimpose its force onto it, marginalise it with free hands to invade Africa's territorial integrity through military intervention. An economically, politically and militarily United Africa as envisaged by the forward-thinking, visionary, progressively patriotic founding fathers of the African Unity Project, would have been competent to protect and mediate its own. A plethora of non-preventative and post-crises report- writing human rights and peace institutions have also been found wanting again in preventing the loss of hundreds of innocent lives " who needs post-massacre reporting institutions? Too late for the victims! The focus in Africa for peace, human rights and regional institutions in the 21st Century, should be on conflict prevention and the capacity-readiness to intervene to prevent conflict, before human casualties occur.
"In a year dedicated by the United Nations as the International Year for Persons of African Descent, it is profoundly abominable that agencies charged with protecting African people, have proven so hopeless and ineffective, completely desensitised from the blight and plight of those they are employed to serve. You wonder what these swathes of officials are paid to do, beyond holding lavish conferences, workshops, producing countless reports and delivering huge speeches which have no impact on the lived conditions of the African people. Look, Africa requires a suite of radical new paradigms on visible priority aspects of life that are engulfed in crises; and continued reliance on old methodologies will only aggravate these crises. Lateral thinking on all aspects is imperative. Even in the Global North, lateral thinking is the order of the day with think tanks and task forces busy at work. Why not African institutions?
"There must be a radical shift in the political culture of politics in Africa where political office means primarily service, not stepping in the shoes of colonialists, unleash violence through utilising citizens as collateral damage at the incompetence of resolving stalemate, impasse or conflicts and prolong the economic disenfranchisement of the majority citizens. For the best part of half a century, the African peoples have trusted, mandated and danced for and supported African politicians. In return, African politicians have persistently and consistently abused the confidence reposed in them. In every possible political regime Africa has had, African citizens have accorded high office, privilege, respect, salaries, allowances and power to African politicians, only to be repeatedly let down. The question for African politicians in my view is what is the most important " their own selfish interests or national and majority citizens' interests? And the question for officials of the African Union and regional institutions is which comes first -their individual selfish interests or the collective interests of the African Continent, regional area and the African people?
"Ever since decolonisation, regardless of the support that the African electorate give to African leaders of varying political hues, ideologies and convictions, nowhere in Africa has major manifesto promises been attained. What is visible is that political parties and their leaders become incredibly wealthy, the gap between the rich and poor widened, and the majority citizens more abjectly impoverished. The facts determine that this is raw deal, which has got to stop because these outcomes are light years away from the promise of decolonisation.
"In the 21st Century digitised globalised village, this debacle of political and economic culture is inappropriate for realising the national, continental and global citizenship and fundamental human rights of majority African citizens. This is a matter of fundamental justice, certainly a crisis of leadership and a sore spot in the African continental consciousness. The question that is raging within respected enlightened Global African circles in the Diaspora is what value African politics and African politicians add to the political, economic, social, legal rights of the African people and what substantive difference there is between colonialism and neo-colonialist African self-government? The legitimacy of this critical enquiry is a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of African self-rule in the light of the bloodshed through political violence and the blight including countless loss of life consequent to economic impoverishment within the context of the neglect of duty institutions such as political leadership. It is crucial that African politicians embrace a pro-majority citizens' progressive positive change mindset to avoid continued unrest and instability.
"It would appear also that African politicians need to grasp the full significance and urgency of the multiple-crises which eclipses Africa and adopt crises interventionist problem-solving approaches to the discharge of the responsibilities of political leadership and office. Fifty years of damage, stagnation and deterioration is costly indeed and must be averted by all means necessary through a conscientious renaissance by Africans in leadership for collective benefit and restoration of dignity to Africans in Africa and in the Diaspora.
"To avoid violence that characterises African politics where they occur, and detracts from the rhapsodized pursuit of economic prosperity driven by a competent and astute fiduciary management of the rich natural resources of the African Continent, which are more than enough to guarantee a decent standard of living i.e. far above basic needs, the Council for Afrika International advocates for an all-party non-bloodshed, non-violence Memoranda of Understanding between all political parties committing to none but peaceful resolution of all political disputes and including campaigning and election-related conflicts, possibly adopted by the African Union and the All-Africa Peoples Parliament. It is sensible to us that such Memoranda of Understanding must be visibly in the public domain and subject of public and party political education throughout the continent. We have not come across any reasonable explanation whatsoever why people should lose their lives in political disputes.
"On the point of democracy, we must caution African leadership that beyond political pluralism and rule of law, democracy is not a perfect political system and certainly no panacea to Africa's political or economic problems. Besides the political violence that have characterised some electoral outcomes, the much flaunted political instability associated with economic development has not guaranteed the fundamental needs of majority citizens in any country of the world " be it in education, health, employment, housing, crime or political corruption. The ongoing global economic recession bears witness as a result of which communist China has overtaken the United States as the world's richest economy. The main beneficiaries in democratic politics are elected politicians, big financiers of political parties, advertising agencies and investment bankers. For the majority citizens of democratic countries, it is a lifelong struggle on a costly credit system. In addition, it is critical to share that the Global North countries survive on technology-backed free but unfair trade to the Global South of which Africa is a huge market. Africans need to be crystal clear about these realities so as not to be deceived into thinking that democratic politics, while desirable than any other, on its own is adequate to realise economic prosperity for all Africans.
"Africans in leadership must begin thinking out of the box and undertake creative and innovative work by developing fit-for-purpose revolutionary initiatives so that Africa can get even and restore justice and integrity to Africa " starting by being self-sufficient in basic needs. As the Council for Afrika International has repeated on other platforms, African politicians need to collectively must undergo a radical paradigm shift, recognising huge human, financial and opportunity costs of the development fiasco of the past half century, traverse the colonially-imposed nation state divide and rule, embark on a multi-cultural, scientific, engineering, technological, medical, agricultural and industrial revolution to deliver the full independence strategic objective of the pioneers and martyrs of the African liberation and decolonisation process i.e. a communalist economic prosperity for all. The God-given rich natural resources of the African Continent belong to all Africans, not just a minority and not foreigners.
"Finally, we must be clear about the collective responsibility of Africa's ruling elite to Africa's youth. We may have the right to wreck the economic prosperity of our generation, but we have no right whatsoever, to wreck the economic prosperity of the youth who are the future. Given the rate at which Africa's resources have been sold off into foreign ownership and the implied undermining of African citizenship and indigenous peoples who live in abject poverty, the task of the African ruling elite is well cut out; and time is ticking away. To obviate widespread continental unrest, the time for comprehensive African-centred change is now because no amount of bribing off Africa's middle class could stave off the wrath of Africa' youth. As said this is avoidable but it is entirely in the hands of those who wield power. See, the gusto, energy and intensity that fuels killing of scores of people in the quest for political power, are misdirected and a better channelled into dealing with the underlying causes and consequences that blight the African people and Continent " afrophobia, the African Holocaust, Africa's Economic Conundrum i.e. richly endowed but impoverished, internalised inferiority-complex and propensity for horizontal violence, African disunity etc which together crystallise in abject poverty and necessitate Africa's own 21st Century industrial, medical, agricultural, engineering, technological, scientific and cultural revolutions."
The Council for Afrika International is an independent, victims-led, non-supremacist think and doing tank that works for the eradication of afrophobia and anti-africanism i.e. discrimination, injustice and all forms of cruelty directed at persons of African ancestry in consonance with UN Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, through advocacy, representation and campaigns for new platforms, schools of thought, approaches and paradigms.
AFRIKA INTERNATIONAL positively promotes the reinstatement of the rights, wellbeing and security of Africans and persons of African ancestry as equal global citizens and peaceful coexistence within the human race. The Council counters structural constructs, policies, strategies and decisions that dehumanise and undermine the dignity of Africa, persons of African ancestry and the interests of the African continent. In the pursuit of our purpose, we adopt a joined-up approach for an international coalition of individuals, all relevant local, regional, national and international agencies through proactive partnership and engagement strategies.
Source: Afrika International