By Juma Nsubuga
Members of the Pan African Parliament have supported the idea of establishing a standby force with a rapid deployment capability to contain outbreaks of conflict on the continent.
The MPs meeting for the Second Session of the Third Pan African Parliament in Midrand, South Africa, said it was embarrassing that Africa has to refer their conflicts to its former colonizers for solutions.
The Chairperson of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union Arcano Maria do Nascimento, said in a report on peace and security in Africa that an African standby force “is of critical importance to Africa’s peace efforts.”
“The crisis in Mali, where Africa was unable to intervene in response to the call by the Malian authorities at a moment of critical need, and the flashpoints existing on our continent, illustrate how urgent it is for Africa to equip itself with a rapid deployment capability,” said Nascimento, who is also the Ambassador of Angola to both Ethiopia and the AU.
He however said that “It is equally essential that all of us in Africa deepen the democratization process, ensure good governance and respect for human rights. This will go a long way to assist in our conflict prevention efforts.”
The report by the Ambassador covered the situations in Mali, Central African Republic, Great Lakes Region, Somalia, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Western Sahara and Ethiopia/Eritrea.
Representatives from Sudan said Africa should learn from their conflict with South Sudan, which was largely solved without help from western powers.
The Uganda representative in PAP Onyango Kakoba said Somalia still poses a threat of terrorism in the region.
He appealed to African countries that promised to send troops to the troubled country to fulfill their pledges, as the African Union (AU) forces gains more ground in the country.