Dear Ambassador Omoregie,
I welcome the publication of this maiden issue of the Africa Peace and Security Monitor (APSM) and highly commend Ambassador Shola Omoregie for this bold and exciting initiative.
In seeking to focus international attention on peace and security issues affecting the Africa region by providing in-depth reviews and analyses of current and emerging threats to peace and security, including recommendations by experts on the best approaches to tackling and addressing those threats, the newsletter will, indeed, be providing valuable insights and responding to the need of African governments, international and regional organizations, the private sector and civil society institutions for strategic political advise on key political and security issues.
The APSM will provide an important additional platform for thoughtful debate, discussion and discourse on Africa’s peace and security challenges that is very much needed as we endeavor to shine more light on the intractable instability in certain regions and countries and as we seek ways of creating, building and maintaining sustainable peace across Africa.
The publication is timely for a number of reasons. Firstly, significant achievements have been made in bringing some major crises to an end and in re-establishing a peaceful environment in a number of countries. The Mano River Union area is a prime example of an area where there has been restoration of peace and security. Here, some good practices are available and useful lessons could be learned from the experiences of countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea.
Secondly, certain crises continue to defy the best efforts of stakeholders, including local regional, continental and international mediators. Somalia, Sudan, the Sahel zone and, to some extent, the Democratic Republic of Congo, are examples. Greater insights are required to explain the persistence and intractability of these crises and to find effective methodologies for handling them.
Thirdly, there also remains a number of low level but recurrent conflicts in several countries which now require greater attention. Often relating to such issues as natural resources, revenue distribution, land and chieftaincy disputes, climate change, settler versus indigenous population and religious classes, these conflicts create tensions and simmering conflicts that pose threats to peace and security in a number of countries.
A fourth reason is the need for further analysis of the Africa peace and security architecture. In 2010, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission commissioned a group of experts to assess the architecture, including its continental and regional structures. Nearly a decade into the operationalisation of this continental and regional mechanism, further analysis, scouting and reflections on its impact on African peace and security is called for, and the APSM can focus on it.
Lastly, the APSM is timely because there has never been a time when the prospects for African economic and social development have been better. The continent has variously been characterized as “on the more”, “rising”, “about to take off” and “hopeful” by commentators. The ominous cloud represented by conflict, however, remains a challenge to peace and security, democracy and governance on the continent. Therefore, any publication dedicated to elucidating the complex factors that contribute to the prevalence of crises and instability and initiates a dialogue towards ensuring the attainment of sustainable peace across Africa is a step in the right direction.
As we would say in Ghana, “Ayekoo”. Well done!
Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas is the former President of ECOWAS
Dear Ambassador Omoregie,
I am delighted to know that you and other likeminded friends have decided to launch the Africa Peace and Security Monitor. I congratulate you and the other members of the Advisory Board for this timely initiative.
There is a broadly shared consensus among analysts that this is an African century. As a precondition, however, peace and security must prevail for Africa to focus on economic and social development on a sustained basis and for the benefit of the African people.
With the able leadership of Ambassador Omoregie, I am supremely confident that this publication will provide the public, both on the continent and outside, with sound and informed analyses for timely and informed decisions and prompt action. With his rich experience of working in the field for many years as a senior official of the United Nations, I am confident that Ambassador Omoregie will ensure that this is a publication that accurately informs the public and decision-makers about the political, economic and historical situation in Africa.
Ambassador Tuliameni Kalomoh, Former Assistant Secretary General,
Department of Political affairs.