Africa's political stability on recovery trend despite Libyan crisis

16:48, June 30, 2011      

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After decades of civil wars that have left millions of people dead and millions of others homeless, stalled economic growth, Africa's political stability is on a recovery trend on the whole, a top official of the African Union (AU) Commission said in Malabo late on Wednesday.

Ramtane Lamamra, Commissioner for Peace and Security told Xinhua in an interview at the AU Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea that apart from the ongoing crisis in Libya, most countries on the continent are returning to Constitutionalism and rule of war.

He said over the years, civil wars have been on a downward trend in most of the African countries.

Most crises in Africa are sparked off by unconstitutional change of governments through military coups and election violence.

According to Lamamra, these are reducing and the countries that have experienced them recently like Chad, Guinea Bissau are also returning to constitutionalism.

"In this category of crises it is only Madagascar that is remaining but there are also efforts to make sure that the problem there is addressed," he said.

The end of the post election crisis in Cote d'Ivoire is also one of the positive indicators of Africa stabilizing.

However there are challenges that still need to be addressed in this West African country for instance embarking on a reconciliation process after such a brutal conflict that so many people killed and left others homeless.

Burundi, Central African Republic, and Comoros are also some of the countries that are undergoing post conflict reconstruction and democratic transformation, according to Lamamra.

The Democratic Republic of Congo which has suffered decades of civil wars especially in the eastern part of the vast central African country is due to hold elections this year, and according to Lamamra, the elections are expected to be peaceful.

Somalia still poses a challenge to the continent as it is increasingly seen as a breeding ground for terrorism especially in eastern Africa. Countries in this region have already faced the wrath of this growing terrorism. For instance, Uganda on July 11, 2010 was hit by twin bombs killing about 80 people and leaving scores of others seriously injured.

Al Shabaab a Somali militant group linked to Al Qaeda, a terrorist organization claimed responsibility of the attack. It said the attacks were in revenge of Uganda's deployment of peacekeepers in Somalia.

Kenya and Tanzania also faced bombings in 1998.

Foreign fighters are flocking this Horn of African country to fight along with the Al Shabaab.

Lamamra said although the recovery of Somalia has not been as fast as expected, there are efforts by the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the African Union Mission in Somalia to capture more territory from the Islamic militants in the capital Mogadishu.

"Somalia is moving forward but not at the pace and speed we hoped to see things happening and progressing. The political process in moving forward hand in hand with the progress of the security," he said.

According to the TFG, it now controls over 60 percent of Mogadishu.

Lamamra said that he hopes that the Kampala Accord which was signed recently in the Ugandan capital Kampala by the Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and the country's Speaker of Parliament Shariff Hassan Sheikh Aden would move the political process in the volatile country forward.

The accord extended the term of the TFG for 12 months and within this period, the country's Constitution is expected to be formed by the Somali people.

Lamamra said the future of Somalia is in the hands of the Somalis who now have a task of formulating a Constitution that will preserve unity and territorial integrity.

Libya remains the highlight of the continent in regards to civil conflicts on the continent. Other countries that experienced protests like Egypt and Tunisia are on a recovery trend but the Libyan protests turned into a civil war.

Lamamra said that the Libyan crisis is one of the major challenges that the 53 member state organization is facing.

The crisis has been compounded by the foreign intervention of NATO forces which have bombed the North African country demanding that its leader Muammar Gaddafi relinquishes power.

Despite AU's protests, the NATO forces have continued to bomb the country with western powers like the US, Britain and France saying that Libya can only progress without Gaddafi.

Lamamra said that the Libyan crisis is a civil conflict which cannot be resolved by military means but political solutions.

He said the AU has embarked on seeking a political solution for instance cessations of hostilities and embarking on a negotiation process.

As the AU summit starts here on Thursday asit is expected that the African leaders will discuss measures of stabilizing the continent politically and economically.

Source: Xinhua
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