Paris: The Elysée Summit for Peace and Security in Africa was held in Paris on 6-7 December. It dealt with peace and security in Africa, the economic partnership and development, and climate change. Fifty-three delegations from African countries and France took part in the Summit, as well as representatives from the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the African Development Bank.
Beijing: Africa's security landscape is characterized by huge diversity, ranging from insurgencies or tribal conflicts, to rising fears from piracy, violent extremism and organized crime. In West Africa, militant and terrorist groups are the main sources of insecurity due to claims of poor management of resources, especially oil. Islamist militant groups Boko Haram and Ansaru, for instance, are responsible for thousands of deaths in northeastern and central Nigeria, including attacks on churches and mosques and a 2011 suicide bombing of the United Nations building in Abuja. Possibly, it is East Africa that has been hit hardest by the increasing cases of terrorism in Africa. Indeed, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have been victims of terrorist acts from as early as the 1980s.
Washington: Given the limits on access to rebel-held areas of Sudan’s Blue Nile state, there has been little information made public about the situation civilians face. In an effort to document the scope of their needs, an international non-governmental organization conducted a series of verification missions to rebel-held parts of the state in mid-2013. Due to security concerns, the organization wishes to remain anonymous. However, to raise awareness about the situation, they have requested the Enough Project make public their findings.
Addis Ababa: The African Union is preparing to deploy thousands of troops in the Central African Republic as a deadly conflict there spirals further out of control. On Monday, Dec. 9, African Union (AU) Deputy Chairperson Erastus Mwencha met with diplomats at its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to work out the details of AU troops’ deployments, logistics and funding. After the meeting, he told IPS that Burundi is the only confirmed troop supplier so far, but several other countries including Rwanda and the Republic of the Congo are discussing sending forces as well.
Bangui: Since last Thursday’s attacks in Bangui by “anti-balaka” groups from the provinces — villagers and former soldiers, usually Christian, who have formed themselves into self-defence militias — a tense calm has returned to the Central African Republic’s capital thanks to the deployment of French troops.
New York: The United Nations Security Council has urged a return to constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau, which has postponed presidential and legislative elections until next year, and warned that it would consider further measures – such as sanctions – against anyone who hampers such efforts in the West African country. “The Security Council urges stakeholders in Guinea-Bissau, including political and military leaders to refrain from any action that could hamper the electoral process and the implementation of reforms, which are key to the long-term stability,” the 15-member body said in a presidential statement.
Nairobi: The situation in Sudan’s forgotten East – without deadly conflict since the 2006 Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement (ESPA) – stands in contrast to the fighting besetting the country’s other peripheries. But this peace is increasingly fragile. Seven years after the ESPA’s signing, the conflict’s root causes remain and in some respects are more acute, due to the failure to implement many of the agreement’s core provisions. Mirroring elsewhere in the country, with no sign of genuine efforts by Khartoum to address the situation, conflict could erupt in the East again and lead to further national fragmentation.
New York: The Security Council has authorized both the deployment of the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic, known as MISCA, and the French troops already stationed in the strife-torn nation to support, by all necessary measures, the Mission in discharging its mandate. Unanimously adopting resolution 2127 (2013), under the United Nations Charter’s Chapter VII, the Council mandated MISCA to help protect civilians, stabilize the country and restore State authority over the territory, as well as create conditions conducive to the provision of humanitarian assistance. To finance such efforts, the Council requested the Secretary-General to establish a trust fund for MISCA, through which Member States and international, regional and subregional organizations could provide financial support.
Nairobi: The crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR) has been deteriorating for the best part of this year. In the words of UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, the international community has “watched from a distance” as the country descended into “virtual melt-down.” He called the decision to act “a profoundly important test of international solidarity and of our responsibility to prevent atrocities.”
Nairobi: Over nine months, the weak Central African Republic (CAR) state has collapsed, triggering a serious humanitarian crisis, with 400,000 displaced and nearly half the population in need of assistance. The transition government and the regional security force have failed to prevent a descent into chaos in urban areas, in particular Bangui, as well as in the countryside. After months of “wait-and-see” and following deadly clashes, the international community now realises it cannot afford another collapsed state in Africa. Unfortunately, the situation on the ground is deteriorating at a much faster pace than the international mobilisation, and Bangui is vulnerable to a total breakdown in law and order.