Sunday, 23 March 2014

Impending peace in Central African Republic

Youssou N'Dour performing at Solidarite Centrafrique

After delaying earlier deployments for a European Union squad alongside the AU and French troops, the EU stated today that a UN peacekeeping forces could be on the ground in Central African Republic in late April. This is somewhat positive news for the UN and people on the ground in Bangui and other towns. However it is a little too late. IDPs and refugees are either across the border or still sheltering at Bangui's airport. The French troops and African Union soldiers are still searching for hidden weapon caches as they try to disarm Anti Balaka rebels. Chadian soldiers recently discovered a massive cache of weapons on their disarment patrols in Bangui. The weapons cache has begged the question where the weapon supplies' origins lie. Why is it more weapons appear even with Operation Sangaris and disarmament in Bangui and other Central African towns? A recent conference hosted by a German political think tank "Ebert Stiftung" has bemoaned Africa's lack of capacity to manage conflicts. Namely the region's main continental arterty meant to provide peace and security in regional conflicts. For the record, the African Union or ECOWAS have had success in providing security and protection for ordinary Liberians and Sierra Leones during the two countries' civil wars a decade ago. The AU has also been keeping the peace in Darfur under its mandated peacekeeping mission . President Catherine Samba-Panza who is visiting Gabonese leader Ali Bongo Ondima has called on the people to disarm for the country and society's sake. Some Central Africans are anxious about the prospects for peace while others are not holding their breaths. Disarmament will finally bring relief to many displaced Central Africans awaiting to return home or reunite with their families after experiencing months of hell on earth. It will take a long time for the nation as a whole to heal. As any country who has experienced a devastating war can attest. 

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