African Solutions for African Problems?
The recent rounds of diplomatic efforts seem to give a pointer that African governments need to adopt home grown solutions to the challenges bedeviling the continent.
The Congo crisis has indeed exposed a position by Afro-centrists that most Western countries had infact marginally disengaged from African affairs by promoting the theory of African solutions to African problems.
This in itself is a welcome gesture. A notable outcome from such positioning is that Africa must develop a capacity for conflict resolution.
Notable African statesmen such as former Tanzanian president, Benjamin Mkapa, former Mozambican president Joachim Chissano and former Nigerian President Gen.Olusegun Obasanjo are all involved in conflict mediation.
The new round of African diplomacy meant to resolve the Congo crisis is a litmus test of their capacity to resolve Africa’s own problems, especially bloody civil wars. Giving Congo sustainable peace is a very tall order due to the nature of the conflict.
The Congo crisis is actually the most complex 21st century conflict within African history. While it is acknowledged that a myriad of factors contributed to its escalation, analysts are quick to point out that the Rwandan genocide opened a new chapter in Congo’s history and sent shock waves throughout the region.
Thus the conflict in Congo has to be seen from the lenses of analyzing the consequence of the genocide. The analysis raises the whole issue of border
realignments, or at least of ways of overcoming the present border problems within the Great Lakes region of Africa.
That is why I must say that the present round of Rwanda-Congo bilateral position on bringing about sustainable peace through joint efforts in routing out negative forces holed up in the Congo is a welcome gesture.
This is a reflection on the sides of African states that African problems only need truly African solutions.