By Benjamin Jumbe
The Chairman of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, has told members of the Pan African Parliament meeting in Midrand, South Africa that heavy reliance on donor funding is affecting peace efforts on the continent.
Presenting a paper on the status of peace and security in Africa to MPs, Amb. Mull Katende has urged them to make use of the available tools for structural conflict prevention by ensuring that African governments are more transparent, accountable and responsive to the legitimate demands of the people.
“Our major challenge is donor dependence, and this defeats the whole idea of African solutions to African problems,” Katende said adding that “the decision by the EU to reduce funding for AMISOM troops’ allowances by 20 percent, was having a negative impact on troop morale and instead boosting the resolve of Al Shabaab to continue undermining the AMISOM gains”, he said.
Currently, there is conflict and instability in South Sudan, Somalia, Mali and the Sahel, Libya, Burundi, Sudan, Djibouti, the Gulf of Guinea, Gambia and Western Sahara among others.
Katende hopes that the implementation of the funding formula adopted by the AU in the July 2016 Summit held in Kigali, Rwanda, would improve the funding challenges.
Reacting to the report, Prof. Ogenga Latigo one of Uganda’s representatives has urged the Peace and Security Council of the AU to address the root causes of conflict in Africa and the supply of arms.
He noted that the challenge that Africa faces is corruption and providing leadership for posterity rather than for self.
“We should invest more in ensuring that elections are free; not repetitive but free of mischief and when you are in governance, you govern for all the country and the continent,” Prof. Latigo said.
Honourable Okot Ogong (Uganda) was dismayed to note that PAP was talking about security and peace and yet the continent had no stand-by force to manage its own security challenges.
“In the DRC, Darfur and other conflict areas, it is the UN keeping the peace. The AU is acting on behalf of UN Security Council. We have therefore left the agenda of Africa in the hands of other people,” he said.
Other legislators opined that Africa’s target of silencing the guns by 2020 cannot be guaranteed in an atmosphere of intolerance and oppression of the minority.
“African politics has now become a business of patronage and cronyism. We have become more tribalistic and intolerant of each other’s religion,” said Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka from Ghana.
The fourth ordinary session of the Pan African Parliament is meeting in its headquarters in Midrand, South Africa, from 8th – 19th May 2017.
Uganda’s delegation to the PAP includes Hon. Jacqueline Amongin (NRM, Ngora), also leader of the delegation; Prof. Morris Ogenga-Latigo (FDC, Agago North); Hon. Anifa Bangirana Kawooya (NRM, Sembabule); Hon. Felix Okot Ogong (NRM, Dokolo South) and Hon. Babirye Kadogo (Ind. Buyende).