Conflicts in Africa: How Africans can solve their problems without the West, the case of South Sudan and Cameroon

Published by Georges Munang on

Conflicts in Africa South Sudan Cameroon

There are currently seventeen (17) African countries involved in war, or are experiencing post-war conflicts and tension. Six (6) in West Africa including Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Mali, and Togo. Five (5) in East Africa including Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda.

Five (5) in Central Africa including Cameroon, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda. Algeria in North Africa as Libya is now calm, and lastly, Angola and Zimbabwe in South Africa though South Africa as a country is facing internal wrangling as concerns land occupations between whites and blacks.

Most conflicts in Africa are never resolved to the satisfaction of conflict resolution but almost always silenced.

Several factors are responsible for conflict-stricken Africa. Though Fonkem Achanken in his paper titled “Conflict and conflict resolution in Africa” maintains that these conflicts are caused by colonial legacies.

I will rather insist in accordance with scholars on conflict in Africa such as (Anyang’ Nyong’o 1991 Obasanjo 1991, and Msabaha 1991) who all agree that conflicts in Africa stem primarily from crises of national governance and from the failure of governmental institutions in African countries to mediate conflict.

That is that for the background review. Let’s get into the crooks of the matter in this political piece.

How Africans can solve their problems without the West

Yes! Conflicts in Africa could be resolved without the “West”. Let us take the case of South Sudan as the test sample and Cameroon as the control sample. From the ensuing analysis, you will agree with me that South Sudan is a case to prove that Africans can actually resolve their conflicts themselves while the case of Cameroon is a proof that the West cannot resolve African conflicts.

Let’s go!

The case of South Sudan (the test sample)

Two years after gaining independence, South Sudan descended into civil war in December 2013 when president Salva Kiir accused his then-deputy,Riek  Machar, of plotting a coup.

Ethnically-charged fighting soon spread from the capital across the impoverished state, shutting down oil fields, forcing millions to flee and killing tens of thousands of people.

A power-sharing deal that returned Machar to the vice presidency was signed in 2015. But it collapsed a year later in a deadly battle that saw Machar flee into exile in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

He later traveled to South Africa where he was held under house arrest until peace talks started again in June, sponsored by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional bloc.

On Wednesday, October 31st, 2018 South Sudanese witnessed a peaceful environment once again and celebrated happiness as ash rebel leader Riek Machar returned to Juba since he fled the country in July 2016 after fighting broke out between his bodyguards and government soldiers in the capital. Machar returned to be reinstated as first vice president in South Sudan’s next government.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) which brokered this peace deal in South Sudan is an eight-country trade bloc in Africa and not the UNITED NATIONS, nor the United States nor the EU. It includes Founding members: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and admitted South Sudan.

Before this latest deal, more than a dozen peace deals have been signed to end the war in South Sudan with help from western powers notably the US but they all ended in a fiasco.

On the 4th of October this year Taban Deng Gai, South Sudan first vice president went to the United States on their usual begging trips. This time Mr Deng went to beg for support—and money—for a fragile new peace deal to end five-year civil war.

I call this shameless and targeted begging because African top officials go begging for this money, not for the good of their people. This money is later transferred to western banks as personal foreign assets.

That is why no matter the amount of help from the west conflicts have never stopped in Africa.

In fact, Foreignpolicy.com noted a U.S State Department official Joshua Meservey in a press briefing with Mr Dend at Heritage Foundation say:

“There are people who have worked on South Sudan for decades…they poured their professional lives into Sudan and Southern Sudan conflict, and South Sudanese independence was seen as this extraordinarily hopeful moment. For it to go so spectacularly wrong so quickly was a very disillusioning moment for these people.”

I for one as a patriotic African was very embarrassed that an African statesman Mr. Deng speaking to international media said the war in South Sudan was being caused by civilians. That civilians were the ones committing atrocities and not the government security forces.

This is the extent to which African leaders disgrace their continent by speaking lies against their very people. This is total hate speech from the government which only goes a long way to pushing civilians to the side of rebels. This has been the paramount cause of the conflict in Cameroon known as the Anglophone crisis.

Despite millions of Dollars, military intelligence and administrative support from the west to South Sudan, the continuous conflict only proved that the solution to their conflict laid in their own hands.

All what the South Sudanese leaders needed to do was to revisit their sense of patriotism, love and respect their people, neglect a little western supremacy and conflict resolution recommendations and welcome the African traditional peace negotiation which is communal dialogue.

This African-blood sense of brotherliness could be felt in President Salva Kirr’s words during the peace celebration ceremony in South Sudan political capital last October:

“In the spirit of promoting peace and stability in our beloved nation I ask you all in welcoming and congratulating Dr. Riek Machar and all the opposition leaders who have shown their commitment to the peace agreement by coming to celebrate with us here today in Juba.”…”is very strong testimony and proof to all that war is ending and a new era for peace and prosperity is breaking.”

Just after peace deal and return to normalcy in South Sudan, the South Sudanese government has said it requires $1.5 billion for a post-conflict recovery plan for 2019.

Humanitarian Affairs minister Hussein Mar Nyout told media in Juba that the return of peace and stability in the war-torn state could see heavy influx of the nearly 3 million South Sudan refugees back home.

He said the money would cater for the needs of the returnees and the suffering populations in rural areas.

“With present peace, in a few months to come, we will see an influx of our people back home, whether from the region or from elsewhere. These people will require a lot of support,” he said.

“We need $1.5 billion and I am appealing to the donors, to the UN agencies to help us,” he added.

This is what I mean by shameless begging. African leaders are so used to begging for international support. Well! The begging this time around is justifiable as it is meant to rehabilitate the refugees.

However, must the government openly beg, because it is obvious that as peace returned to South Sudan everyone is happy companies are happy and the international donor community is well aware that South Sudanese need help and not the corrupt government officials.

The case of Cameroon (the control samples)

Unlike the case of South Sudan where the leaders have understood that the solution to their problem lies in their hands, the leaders in Cameroon are still adamant to reason like real Africans.

The fragile central African state Cameroon has been suffering from war caused by Boko Haram in the Northern part of the country since 2014. Billions of resources both from national scoffers and international aid have been invested in the war. As if that was not enough to handle, the Cameroonian political leadership through greed, ego, and negligence vehemently created an internal conflict that is now taking the egg-like economy to doom.

According to senior Barrister Fru John Nso the Anglophone crisis has been “mal handled” by the Government. Which means the Anglophone crisis now referred to by many as the “Ambazonia war of independence” is a state-created conflict.

Read also: Only a UN-sponsored Referendum can bring our guns down – Ambazonia IG

As a socio-political blogger I cannot really pinpoint how state officials benefit from this crisis but going by my earlier analogy that African leaders refuse to resolve their conflicts themselves because they use such conflicts to shamelessly beg for money from international community, it will be only logical to conclude that president Biya’s recent trip to China was to beg for more money in this regard.

Biya and his government have intentionally refused to call for a sincere African brotherly dialogue to end an avoidable war. Instead he has gone ahead to encourage another conflict right at his central government through electoral fraud and open manipulation of state institutions.

This other conflict cooking may just take Cameroon to the status of a failed state as the country will be faced with a civil war sponsored by an anti-government revolt and a nationalist revolt.

All these could be avoided without the west and these leaders know that very well.

Just like the IGAD has done it great for South Sudan, ECOWAS did for The Gambia by diplomatically forcing tyrant Yahya Jammeh to conceive defeat after elections, we are now waiting for CEMAC over the case of Cameroon. But how will CEMAC even react when President Paul Biya is the father to all the other “small leaders” in CEMAC?

Africans should set their eyes on CEMAC now as Gabon too is going down due to power tussle.


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