Africa should strive to put its own house in order

Foreign Affairs minister Louise Mushikiwabo’s address at the UN, this week, where she clearly put forward Rwanda’s stance on a number of issues, could not have come at a better time.

Foreign Affairs minister Louise Mushikiwabo’s address at the UN, this week, where she clearly put forward Rwanda’s stance on a number of issues, could not have come at a better time.

The debate was on the root causes of conflict in Africa, and no one was in a better position to elaborate the issue than an African; they alone understand too well the ingredients that bring simmering conflicts to a boiling point, and they alone can find a remedy.

Waiting for complete strangers to put your house in order is a lost cause in advance, but that, it seems, is the route many Africans take, and there are many examples.

The ‘international community’, in most cases, treats African conflicts in a very superficial manner; they always seem to be in a hurry to take on the next cause, leaving behind fertile ground for a flare up of the same conflict.

They do not undertake to understand the underlying factors to a conflict, be it economic, political or social. They just make grand statements that create fodder for international NGOs whose sole sustenance is conflict.

The musical chairs of endless resolutions continue while Africa burns, and when the conflicts go back to Square One, the international community looks for a scapegoat for their failure.

Mushikiwabo struck a chord when she called on the Security Council to focus on conflict prevention instead of rushing in to manage the crises, but will the world ever learn?

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