The Court Several African Countries Don’t Want

D.Mensah

One would argue the ICC was doomed from the start when the Bush administration, coming into office in 2001 as the Court neared implementation, adopted an extremely active opposition. Washington began to negotiate bilateral agreements with other countries, ensuring immunity of US nationals from prosecution by the Court. As leverage, Washington threatened termination of economic aid, withdrawal of military assistance, and other painful measures. One would wonder what the value of the ICC would be? Probably,as previously asserted in this page, to incriminate others and a tool to press on disagreeable regimes? Or an annoyance on the normal workings of some African governments. This is what happens around the prosecution of sitting heads of state and governments. Needless to say it has already promoted disagreements between African states. As far as the Court is concerned the continent is torn between collective obedience and collective withdrawal. Though the inclination will be for withdrawal both are not easily achievable. In a matter of weeks three states withdrew from the ICC after being signatories to the Rome Statute for more than a decade.

It is a truism that Africa cannot make sense of either its membership, withdrawal, or even the enforcement of the ICC. While there is no agreement on mass withdrawal, South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia are unlikely to be the only African states to leave the ICC. Hence the fate of the ICC lies on whether the major global renegades are ready to change the system that donates the veto-holding members of the UN Security Council with the power to refer situations in some countries to the ICC, while shielding themselves - or close allies - from scrutiny of the court. One would expect the Obama administration to make greater efforts to engage with the Court. It has begun effortlessly participating with the Court’s governing bodies and it is providing support for the Court’s ongoing prosecutions. Washington, however, has no intention to join the ICC, due to its concern about possible charges against US nationals. Which begs the question that real change would come only from Africa? It is not an exaggeration to say that the African-led crisis surrounding the ICC might lead for inclusive discussion and change on membership. What the ICC will become and how it will operate is still a matter of further speculation, although these unresolved questions are increasingly coming into focus.

In essence, the ICC must balance numerous, often divergent, interests, while simultaneously satisfying its supporters and maintaining its legitimacy and public support. This might require bringing cases to trial from all corners of the world as quickly as possible in order to be seen to be doing something and satisfying its mandate. The longer the structural flaws underlying the international legal order continue, the harder it will be to rebuild trust and cooperation on the Court. And more African countries will be drawn to the withdrawal mode particularly now because extreme nationalists are in ascendancy among the political elite in the West.

Thursday, January 5th, 2017 Peace and Security 6 Comments

A Note on Trump and Africa

Medhane Tadesse

Some African elites seem to entertain big expectations about the future of relations between the US and Africa since Donald Trump won the elections. However, US policy wouldn’t change simply because a new president is going to reorient US policy to solve internal problems of the state. US policy is about the US; it is not about an African policy for Africa. US policy emanates from an American worldview of Africa and has nothing to do with an African perspective of the continent, the more so because Trump’s worldview is inherently parochial, narrow and even local. To this effect it is more likely a disinvestment will happen in US engineered development programmes. Trump’s authoritarian sensibilities will in fact tolerate any variant of dictatorship but will not be fascinated by economic opportunities for the developing world. Despite the tributes that he is not ideological he is more inclined to encourage authoritarianism and discourage developmentalism.

His pledge to deport millions of illegal immigrants is another aspect, the possible multiplier effect of which cannot be fully determined. His annoying local prejudices will be a permanent feature of his world view and is likely to remain a disreputable element on everything African. His vision of a future as past will remind us how he positions himself on what we call as African interests; as the past has been wickedly vacant of African interests. His retroactive politics is a perfect recap of what could happen. Nevertheless, as an astute performer he might continue to perform on African events but not deliver on them. This will be evident as far as the ‘war on terror’ is concerned. He will be comfortable that he inherits a presidency that has been vastly inflated by the war on terror policies of his immediate predecessors; inevitably he will speed up and proliferate drone strikes and attacks by covert special forces in African soil.

Interestingly Trump will be immune to African constituencies and interest groups in the US as they were absent in his election bid. A determining factor in US policy towards Africa is the presence of an African voice and constituency in Washington. It doesn’t exist right now. Other underpinnings of a sound African policy are also largely absent. These include the integration of Africa into the global economy and liberal peace theory. Trump is not expected to be interested in both. He will most certainly not care if it comes at the expense of aid to or trade with a number African countries.

Given Trump’s expressed, belligerent views on the war on radical Islam and distaste towards China, perhaps AFRICOM will be the central agency of his African policy. The most important development in Africa’s international system after the end of the Cold War has been the rise of China. Beyond optimism and despair the election of Donald Trump could easily be the second significant spectacle. The worst that African leaders can do, however problematic it might seem mentally, would be to show pleasure on the election of Trump.

Friday, December 30th, 2016 Peace and Security 7 Comments

The ICC: the West Gimmicks, Africa Attacks.

The International Criminal Court’s future is in great doubt. Are we seeing a sudden reversal of the values, principles and norms that began to govern us? Probably. The ICC didn’t come in an ideological vacuum. The real underpinning was the triumph of the global liberal project. A highly influential liberal norm is the Responsibility to Protect. As with democratization, this has contributed to developing and entrenching norms and building institutions of justice and reconciliation. But in recent years one can see a simmering erosion of the values and principles that guided global human rights regimes such as the ICC. This has more to do with how leading powers behaved than how African countries reacted. 72 out of the 193 UN community members, including leading powers such as China and the US, aren’t ICC members. Particularly the US detests the fact that jurisdiction over sovereignty issues is given to the courts. It is an embarrassing low point for a government that portrays itself as a champion of human rights. Quite bluntly the US doesn’t cooperate with the ICC and yet it demands other countries, such as South Africa, to carry out their ICC obligations.

The same forces responsible for the emergence of current international order have continued to strike a bargain on it. Since 2002 ICC hasn’t given any order to arrest the representatives of Western countries. The US doesn’t want to be part of it out of fear that Americans might be prosecuted. Most other governments rejected this demand as inconsistent with their vision of equal justice for all. Most governments will not agree to exempt Americans from the reach of international human rights law. Africans were central in negotiating the Rome treaty that established the court. But now several African leaders are using their position as head of state to turn every available weapon against the court in an effort to avoid prosecution. In fact the focus on Africa largely reflects the continuation of violent civil wars and atrocities but also current limits on the reach of international justice. This is the reason Africa attacks the ICC.

Should the court then be condemned for discrimination—for taking advantage of Africa’s weak global position? This debate is at the heart of one of the most serious challenges the ICC has ever faced. Until the ICC began investigating African presidents, it had broad support from several African governments. The ICCs short existence has already created a number of concerns, mainly in Africa: Some genuine, others not. Back in May 2010 I wrote ‘there is so much apprehension in Africa towards the ICC these days-some of it quite justified-that anything resembling a defense of it is bound to make some people angry.’ But the complaint surrounding the ICC can cloud our perspective and distort international and regional policy.

Africa’s regional organization’s and their leading voices appear to have no qualms about trying to bring the court down. Unless the West starts to live upto the expectations of the values it claims to champion and guard the court’s future may be in doubt. Given the disregard to the ICC on the part of leading global players the gathering momentum against the Court will definitely succeed. Neglect and disrespect of a noble global norm have caused a reversal of fortune for the ICC. The standoff between major powers and the ICC has always been problematic but perhaps the most important battle for the ICC will be in African countries.

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 Peace and Security 7 Comments

ON Continued US Military Engagement

B. Ndiaye

Having stationed more than 6000 of its military contingent in several African countries the US is further expanding its presence in Africa. It’s also consistent with the militaristic emphasis of the Obama administration’s engagement with the continent. Across Africa, 1,700 Navy SEALs, Army Green Berets, and other military personnel are carrying out 78 distinct “mission sets” in more than 20 nations. On the pretext of rendering consultative assistance to the African states in the field of counter terrorism Pentagon tries to exert direct influence upon the current developments in the countries of the continent. None of these are multilateral operations. The administration’s focus on planting AFRICOM and dozens of military engagements in Africa is a great disappointment, since the president began his first term by laying out ambitious new goals for the continent. Equally discomforting is figuring out just what America’s most elite troops on the continent are actually doing, and who they are targeting.

Aspects of counter-terrorism are misleading, not only with regard to external support, but about the issues themselves. It is a cool and generally intelligent presentation of the justification that, through the play of US military and supporting the African Standby Force/ASF/ with the ever-growing pilotless aircraft bases, Africa can strengthen and modify its military institutions in such ways and to such an extent it become self-reliant and free from the Pentagon. Perhaps most worrying of all is the unwillingness of the US and other Western powers, such as France, to say or do anything to support Africa’s security initiatives. Their leaders grumbled about this, but did little more. And one would think a bilateral military would be just the kind of thing Africa would want to bolster its operational capacity. Bilateral agreements in the sphere of military engineering cooperation that allows Americans to involve in direct military initiatives and exercises are less desirable. The answer is the use of African task forces which are shelved indefinitely.

A closer look at military history shows that regional task forces merged with multilateral approaches are the best shot. More than half a century of post-independence African history has shown that focusing on stability and development through unrestricted external military engagements while ignoring national plans and regionally-induced multilateral approaches is self-defeating, because it undermines those very goals. The US and other Western donors need to cooperate with other powers such as Russia and China, with multilateral sensibilities, to use the many instruments at their disposal to promote peace and stability in the continent.

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 Peace and Security 7 Comments

Olympic or Geopolitical Doping?

D.Cole

This year Russia has been hit by doping allegations. Calls for sanctioning or boycotting the Olympics targeting Russia has been in the ascendancy. Attention has focused most on Russia, probably because its past performances and aspirations are visible. Africa aspires to the same greatness in the Olympics and should closely follow the allegations surrounding the doping world. This is a problem of all who are trapped in political systems that are only interested in power and glory. However the timing of the massive allegations cannot be clearer. Russia and the West, particularly the US are in a kind of super power rivalry remiscenent of the 1980s. Welcome to the politics of the Olympics during the Cold War. Olympic dominance is unfortunately part of this old-fashioned vision of national greatness.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has released a report into allegations of state-sponsored doping in Russia. In hindsight, and due to their fondness to the Olympics, one shouldn’t pick on Russia and China. Most people assume their success was simply a question of massive doping. Even if it exists it does not seem to be an isolated case of a single country. Doping must be stamped out. But is it credible that all Russian athletes are drug users? The issue is not whether doping exists or not, but rather the blanket condemnation of a whole country. An excessive focus will always remain controversial and questionable. Attempts to discredit Russia in the eyes of international sports associations don’t help. There is a tendency by some anti-doping agencies to totally disregard Russian’s feelings. Many are incredibly concerned and disappointed that personal data of athletes had gone into the public domain.

The fact that the main financier of the World Anti-Doping Agency/WADA/ is the US Administration could be part of the problem. How investigations are handled and analyzed is critical to the issue of trust and legitimacy. The only solace would be what is left, if any, from the credibility and rationality of the International Olympic Committee/IOC/. History shows us that the Olympic movement suffers losses from politically motivated allegations and boycotts. The tit-for-tat action by the two super powers and their allies during the cold war is a perfect example of this. Doping became rampant during the cold war. The precursor to this was Adolf Hitler who aptly realized the games’ PR potential. Then came the Cold War and they turned into a battleground for rival ideologies. The politics and the race around it have renewed worries about whether a “clean” Olympics will ever be possible. But the recent Olympic doping scandals are symptomatic of something more significant: a statistical survey of geopolitics and destructive public policy. Of course, the Olympic Games has long been a proxy for national glory and super power rivalry.

 

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016 Peace and Security 14 Comments

Can Africa Escape from GMO

Jack Liu

Recent developments on GMOs in Africa are enough to stir controversy and ambivalence. The introduction of Genetically Modified Organisms/GMOs/ to Africa is no less damaging than the dumping of nuclear wastes or intervention of Western militaries. The commercialization of GM Bt cotton in Burkina Faso in 2009 has been a harbinger of a larger problem in Africa. Within four years the nation’s crop is classified as lower quality. Not to mention the fact that Burkina Faso’s cotton industry was in its heyday both in terms of production and quality before the advent of GM Bt cotton. This points to a larger problem with the GM process in general—that of pleiotropic effects, which means that the inserted GM gene influences other seemingly unrelated genes. The rise and expansion of GM induced crops is a matter of urgency. The reversal on GM cotton could undermine public trust in GM crops in general across the continent, at a time when many African countries are grappling with the choice of whether to adopt the technology. Due to known paths of modernity and many acolytes of the Western world, we have grown used to the idea that everything Western is useful and beneficial. In reality this is not the case.

The recent experience of Burkina Faso is a telling commentary that sheer focus on yield is not the defining factor of a crop’s success and how the problem may persist in other African countries. And yet the impact of GMOs on Africans has so far been hardly noticed by the political elite. The problem is compounded with the lack of meticulous research and high-level report on the devastating effect of GM induced crops in Africa. Hence, the first major task should be an Africa-wide report on the gravity of the danger by taking Burkina Faso as a major starting point and case study. The benefits and pitfalls of GMOs has become a popular subject of speculation and storytelling almost immediately after the Burkinabe debacle. This is on the top of the existing and ever growing trust deficit. The experience of Burkina Faso is not only important in identifying the problem but also the solution. It is quite possible that Burkina Faso’s phase out could help stall or even end negotiations to adopt GM cotton in other African countries with similar concerns, for instance over cotton quality, as recently evidenced by the social movement in Nigeria. Our increased awareness of this may be precisely why we have become so concerned with the evolving GM industry.

The scattered examples of externally induced disasters should be properly compiled and documented. It should be proved beyond any doubt that GMOs pose an immediate and present danger to the continent. This will help to inform governments and the African Union to adopt an informed and practical position on the matter. Beyond quality and production the governance of GM induced yields brings the issue of management, ownership and political independence into prominence. The heavy reliance on multinational corporations, the aid industry, big business and foreign policy instruments is a major worry. As such it is not about food, agriculture or the quality of it; it is about foreign and security policy as well.

Friday, November 11th, 2016 Peace and Security 7 Comments

The Fate of Traditional Agriculture in Africa: A Stark Warning

J. Collins

Modern agriculture has become an indispensable pillar of government policy in many African countries. But it is no longer an invisible or uncontested one. Until recently when GMOs began to inflict major mistakes and threatened to propel the subject to the top of activists’ concern, Africans have not had to think very hard about the pace of agricultural development and where their food comes from, or what it is doing to the planet, their bodies, and their society. Mechanization of agriculture is a welcome, if not indispensable, option for Africa. But, what kind of modernization? In fact it’s hard to say which comes first: the desire to promote local agriculture or the desire to promote productivity even by cutting ties, to whatever degree possible, with the traditional farmer? The actual solution might not be mysterious mainly if short-term political calculations are out of the way.

The real solutions can be found in ecological farming systems, and traditional kitchen and home gardens, which can better contribute to healthy and diverse diets and empower people to access and produce their own healthy and varied food. GM induced modernization led by big corporations are diverting both financial and human resources, policies and practices away from implementing the real solutions which can be found within the diversity of natural foods and traditional farming. The villain is the corporatization of agriculture and food production.

The dream that agriculture will be modernized and acute food shortage will be largely solved for most Africans is being threatened by the very ingredients that increases agricultural productivity, made possible by cheap fossil fuel (the key ingredient in both chemical fertilizers and pesticides) and changes in agricultural policies. Then, one would ask: is it worth accepting GM induced agricultural growth to achieve ‘food security’ in Africa? Surely it will help governments to resolve food crisis or eliminate food as a political issue—an objective dear to most governments at least since the time of the French Revolution. But although cheap food is good politics and a major weapon to defeat poverty, it turns out there are significant costs—to the environment, to public health, to the public purse, to the way of life, even to the culture—issues that are impossible to ignore in the African context.

The current top-down approach of investing heavily in scientific innovation but ignoring small-scale farmers not only misses the risks to farming communities’ stock of knowledge, built up over generations, but also actively erodes farmers’ ability to adapt to climate challenges. Instead, it makes them recipients of external innovations. And modern systems of farming threaten to swamp traditional innovation. Though they have sensed the problem African governments have not done much to prevent the traditional innovation systems from being weakened and lost. Now more than ever, Africa needs to be disenchanted by the complete dependence of some countries on American GMO. It makes sense that food and traditional farming should become a focus of attention for governments and Africa’s regional organizations. It is not outlandish to argue that Africa asserts its sovereign power on traditional agriculture.

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016 Peace and Security 6 Comments

Africa has started to act on GMO’s: the Case of Nigeria and Burkina Faso

Tony Mensah

I read David Aguay’s piece shortly after heated discussions with friends on the menacing impact of GMOs in Africa. While I appreciate the writer for raising this critical issue I want to argue that the effect of GMOs on health problems is well established and opposition to GM cotton is gathering momentum. Over the past few years Monsanto’s GM Bt cotton has moved very far from its original high purpose of boosting production to destroying it compromising its quality. Now primarily a marketing machine to insert seeds of dubious benefit, this industry uses its wealth and power to co-opt every institution that might stand in its way, including African governments and the US Congress. One of the results has been a growing pro-industry bias in agricultural biotech research—exactly where such bias doesn’t belong. Nonetheless, in a move that could help decide the future of GM crops in Africa, Burkina Faso has abandoned GM Bt cotton and Nigerians from wide swaths of society are protesting.

Monsanto is poised to begin planting genetically modified varieties of corn and cotton in Nigeria provoking the outrage of millions.Monsantos Bt cotton is a bollworm-resistant variety of GMO and is entering Nigeria after the same biotech seed decimated Burkina Faso’s cotton industry. The story of Burkina Faso’s cotton points to a problem with the GM process in general-that of pleiotropic effects, which means that the inserted GM gene influences other seemingly unrelated genes. The news is far more disturbing: Monsanto is requesting that Nigeria allow cultivating its GMO cotton which has already brought nothing but economic devastation and misery to the cotton sector along with its so-called “Roundup ready” version of weed killer-resistant corn. Monsanto’s “Roundup ready” corn requires the toxic roundup herbicide whose corn ingredient,glysophate,is known to be extremely harmful to human health and recent studies have reportedly linked glyphosate to health effects such as the degeneration of the liver and kidney, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. More troubling is the destruction brought to formerly high-producing countries.

Beyond health hazards GM cotton has become detrimental to quality, production and export. The introduction of GM Bt cotton is associated with the rapid decline of Burkina Faso’s cotton crop. Before that Burkinabe’s cotton was renowned for its high quality, the product of a highly successful non-GM breeding programme founded by the French government and spanning up to 70 years. Burkina Faso’s cotton industry was in its heyday before the advent of GM’s Bt cotton. It is used to doing pretty much what it wants to do. The watershed year was 2009 when GM Bt cotton became commercialized in the country. Before then, it was a good business, but afterward, it was a stupendous one. It is this malady that is expanding to Nigeria. Recently the public has shown signs of being fed up and are signs of growing opposition. The protest is being led by around 100 non-profit organization representing over 5 million Nigerians. This is a welcome development; and new at that. The emerging protests in West Africa is much-admired and need to be emulated.

The public, as in other societies in Europe and America, distrusts Monsanto because Monsanto likes to put genes for poisonous pesticides into food crops. In a way the developing opposition is a reflection of what is to come. Clearly policy makers are at a loss. Meanwhile Burkina Faso’s cotton companies seem to have lost patience and have taken matters into their own hands. The hope is that other African countries will take the path of the protests in Nigeria and Burkina Faso. It is quite possible that Burkina Faso’s phase-out could stall or even end negotiations to adopt GM cotton in other African countries with similar concerns over cotton quality. Whatever the illusory benefits it is far more likely that genetic engineering will remain unpopular and controversial so long as it remains a centralized activity in the hands of large corporations. There is no hope until public pressure influences policy. Yet the need for a widespread, passionate, and politically effective opposition to GMOs in Africa is more pivotal than ever.

Saturday, September 17th, 2016 Peace and Security 5 Comments

GMO and the Hijacking of the African Food Supply

David Aguay

I am alarmed about a major new force that has entered the field of agriculture and food security in Africa. The entry of so-called genetically modified organisms /GMOs/ and its devastating impact on Africans and their agricultural fields has so far been hardly noticed by the general public and policy makers. But now it is threatening to undermine the whole agricultural production system under the guise of commercialization and philanthropy. It has become the new risk, the fastest-growing, but still largely unknown, ‘charitable vehicle’. It is therefore not surprising that Monsanto is poised to begin planting genetically modified varieties of corn and cotton in some African countries after causing wreckage in West Africa. The Genetic Modification/GM/ research into non-commercial traditional crops has been well underway and has managed to make further inroads into imposing GM on the African continent under the veil of technology denotations and public financing. The rise and expansion of GM is a matter of grave concern because of the heavy reliance on multinational corporations, the aid industry, foreign policy instruments and charitable contributions in the US. No wonder the public entry of GMOs into Africa was one put in place and advocated for by US State Department officials, as Common Dreams reported back in 2003.

One of the most surprising aspects of embedding transnational agribusiness and GMOs into African agriculture is that GM crops are likely to increase the costs of production for farmers and lead them into indebtedness and dependency, and fatal at that. The forceful and stealth expansion of GMOs to Africa in the name of philanthropy is compared to Conscience Laundering. The larger question raised by this arrangement is, why would African countries and private business enter into legal agreements that seek to twist their expectations and destroy their lives? The ‘philanthropy’ currently being dished out in Africa doesn’t empower local farmers but is aimed at getting GMOs-with all of the associated problems- into agriculture, sucking farmers into the prevailing power structures of greedy capitalism and marginalizing credible, alternative approaches based on self-sufficiency, sustainability and sound environmental practices. The main beneficiaries of the arrangements for GM induced investments are big corporations, the financial industry and its wealthy clientele. The financial industry has clearly had much to gain from entering into the GM middleman business.

The question is, why African governments would contribute to its legalization. Particularly troubling is the detrimental effect caused by the diversion of funds that would otherwise have been contributed directly to empowering individual farmers. Finally, GMOs are also detrimental because they disrupt the health and way of life of farming communities. The introduction of methods of genetic engineering into agriculture is not causing a public reaction comparable to Europe and North America. As far as Africa is concerned the issues of genetically modified organisms is not merely academic rather it is existential. Neither it is about principled objections to “unnatural” interventions. It is not about GMOs being the direct consequence of the development of a radically new way to manipulate heredity. It is about who does that and at what cost? The dangers of biotechnology are real and serious. There’s no “conclusive proof” that GMOs may be harmful to our bodies; there’s extensive proof, however, that “following the introduction of these crops, productive land is concentrated in the hands of a few owners” who can afford the new technologies.

There are several issues that are critical to the GMOs. These include threats to human health, possible disruption of natural environments, and threats to agricultural production from a more rapid evolution of resistant pests. The vulnerability becomes real in weak and impoverished societies where it leads to the disruption of third- world agricultural economies. The danger will always be there unless the industry is domesticated and becomes user-friendly. The uproar about genetically modified organisms is both legitimate and long overdue. Donor-advised and GM induced investments are a bad deal for Africa. They have produced too many private benefits for the financial services industry, at too great a cost to African farmers, and they have provided too few benefits for society at large. When we consider their overall effect, we see that rather than supporting investments and charities and the beneficiaries they serve, they have undermined them. The creation of a regulatory framework on a contentious issue presents a special difficulty. However, GMOs have posed immediate and present danger at least Africa’s regional organizations ought to enact a rule requiring strict supervision on the way GM induced contracts and investments are monitored and handled. In addition, Africa need to elevate its scrutiny on GM related charitable giving so that they more clearly work in the public interest.

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 Peace and Security 6 Comments

Remorse Engulfs the AU as Individual Countries Continue to Provide Military Bases to Major Powers

Tony J.

Moses’s piece on mysterious killings of prominent figures in the past and his call for a closure might be attention-grabbing but for me the most critical issue is the continued expansion of military bases in Africa. In recent years the United States has signed military cooperation agreements with several African countries the latest being with Senegal which took place on May the 2nd 2016. AFRICOM is opening new and expanding old military facilities. The agreement with Senegal combines both. It allows the US to deploy its troops and AFRICOMs infrastructure to Senegal at any time of its choosing. The new agreement updates another that dates from 2001. It provides U.S. access to certain facilities in Senegal and authorizes U.S. forces to make certain physical improvements, as necessary.

Defense cooperation agreements between the United States and West African countries are not rare; there are more than sixty. However the recent deal is far more serene. In terms of political and social developments, Senegal would appear to be a particularly appropriate partner for Washington in the region. But the principle that we must never lose sight of is who decides on military bases in Africa? Who should be the first respondent? What is the role of regional security organizations and the African Union? What is the scope of the AU’s watchdog role, if any? This must leave African leaders upset and nervous. One would expect the African Union to vehemently oppose such a move but the May 30 2016 declaration of the Peace and Security Council of the continental organization was at least weak at best vague. If its statements on the matter are any guide it does start and pause at pronouncements of concern.

The disclosure of Pentagon’s recent gains in Dakar are a challenge to the core of what Africa’s regional organizations’ stand for i.e. African solutions to Africa’s problems as well as the imperatives for the African Standby Force/ASF/. It undercuts its paramount role in national and regional security affairs. The bottom-line is that who controls the security file and military policy in the continent. Throughout the cold war, until well into the early 21st century, virtually all of Africa, citizens and policy makers alike, had been content to let Western powers—make that policy. That had changed, so I last heard, when the OAU became the African Union with a robust and ambitious Constitutive Act. Nevertheless the “mortal ‘stroke’” continues to wound the ASF and it is fair to contend this is a reversal of fortune.

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016 Peace and Security 6 Comments