La Journée de l’Afrique 2015: De l’OUA… retour à l’OUA?

La Journée de l’Afrique est célébrée chaque année le 25 mai. Elle marque la fondation de l’Organisation de l’unité africaine (OUA) le 25 mai 1963. Ce jour-là, les dirigeants de 30 des 32 Etats africains indépendants ont signé la charte fondatrice de l’OUA à Addis-Abeba, en Ethiopie. En 2002, l’OUA a été officiellement remplacée par l’Union africaine (UA).

Alors que les principaux objectifs de l’OUA étaient de débarrasser le continent des vestiges de la colonisation et de l’apartheid ainsi que de promouvoir l’unité et la solidarité entre les États africains, la nouvelle Union Africaine visait “une Afrique intégrée, prospère et en paix, tirée par ses propres citoyens et représentant une force dynamique dans l’arène internationale ».

Nous pouvons donc conclure que l’OUA a atteint ses principaux objectifs en assurant la pleine indépendance politique du continent et en contribuant à éliminer l’apartheid en Afrique du Sud. Franchement parlant, l’OUA n’a jamais été question de démocratie ou la participation des citoyens. L’OUA était une organisation de dirigeants africains, dont la majorité avait pris le pouvoir par la lutte politique ou par la force.

Lors du Sommet l’Union Africaine à Lomé en 2000, lorsque le nouvel Acte constitutif de l’UA a été adopté, Alors que j’etais responsable du département « Formation Civique » de la radio national du Togo “Radio Lomé”, j’ai diffusé une émission radio intitulée “De l’Union des Chefs d’Etat à l’Union des Citoyens ». Je me souviens encore de l’excitation et du grand espoir des citoyens africains à faire partie d’une nouvelle organisation continentale qui vise la sécurité humaine, la prospérité, le développement et la participation citoyenne.

Comment se portent aujourd’hui l’Union africaine et ses États membres depuis sa mise en place en 2002 pour ouvrir les portes de la prospérité, la sécurité la paix,  la démocratie et les droits de l’homme sur notre continent? Les citoyens ont – ils véritablement eu la chance de participer pleinement? Quid de la mise en œuvre des principes clés qui assureront une Afrique démocratique, respectueux des droits de l’homme et des peuples, et, pouvant débloquer le potentiel du développement? Qu’y a-t-il de la gestion responsable de nos ressources humaines et naturelles pour le bénéfice du continent et de ses filles et fils ?

Aujourd’hui, quand je regarde le Burundi, la RDC, le Togo, l’Ouganda, le Congo, le Soudan, le Soudan du Sud, le Zimbabwe, la Libye, le Cameroun, la Gambie … pour ne citer que quelques-uns, ma question est la suivante: 15 ans après la Déclaration de Lomé, avons vraiment fait chemin vers  l’UA? Ou sommes-nous toujours en train d’osciller autours des pratiques de l’OUA?

Quand je me souviens que 40.000 citoyens africains ont péri dans la mer Méditerranéenne au cours des 15 dernières années (2000 morts depuis Janvier 2015) en essayant de fuir le continent, je me demande si nos dirigeants sont vraiment fiers d’eux-mêmes.

Quand je vois le Président Burundais jouer au football publiquement avec ses amis lorsque plus de 110.000 de ses con-citoyens, y compris les enfants non-accompagnés se perdent dans les collines cherchant  refuge dans les pays voisins, fuyant la persécution … et, au moment où la protestation  se poursuivait, la police tirant à balles réelles et des dirigeants de l’opposition assassinés dans la ville … ma question: Est-ce l’Afrique que nous voulons pour le 21e siècle?

34 des 54 pays africains sont appelés «pays les moins avancés” dans un continent très riche, quand au moins 1 milliard de dollars sortent illégalement  du continent sous la forme de flux financiers illégaux chaque jour par des multinationales avec la complicité  de leurs pays d’accueil et bien sûr aussi de notre propre leadership.

L’Afrique possède  plus de 90% des ressources de chrome dans le monde, 85% de sa platine, 68% de cobalt, 54% d’or, en plus d’importantes réserves de pétrole et de gaz. Notre continent abrite également  des dépôts d’uranium, de manganèse, de diamants, de bauxite et de phosphate en très grandes quantité et qualité.

Dans l’ensemble, lorsque je constate le silence et l’hésitation de nos institutions régionales et pan africaines pour hausser le ton et prendre des mesures concrètes, je me sens terriblement triste, j’ai honte de mon continent, et je suis révolté ….

La Journée de l’Afrique 2015 devrait être un moment de réflexion continental … Le 25 mai n’est observé comme un jour férié que dans cinq pays africains: le Ghana, le Mali, la Namibie, la Zambie et le Zimbabwe. Elle doit être une journée de réflexion et d’action continentale.

Le Sommet des Chefs d’État  de l’UA qui se tiendra en Afrique du Sud dans quelques semaines est une occasion pour nos dirigeants d’examiner  leurs responsabilités et de prendre des décisions audacieuses.

Cette année et l’année à venir (2016: Année de droits de l’homme) devraient être des années pour nouvelle révolution des citoyens africains. Les partenaires du monde entier doivent soutenir fermement Une citoyenneté active, y compris les actions pour revendiquer et obtenir des comptes des détenteurs du pouvoir et la mise en œuvre de nos valeurs communes. Sans cela, notre Agenda 2063 sera un document vide et un pur mensonge pour les générations futures.

Je crois fermement que si le système de gouvernance est amélioré dans le continent, l’Union africaine et ses communautés régionales commencent à jouer leur rôle pleinement et véritablement en mettant la pression sur les gouvernants nationaux en vertu des principes adoptés, les traités et conventions; si les citoyens y compris les jeunes sont mobilisés et solidaires  nous verrons un meilleur continent émerger dans quelques années.

Bonne Journée de l’Afrique !

NB : Mes réflexions sont absolument personnelles en n’engagent pas mon organisation.

Africa Day 2015: From the OAU back to the OAU?

By Désiré Assogbavi (See also French Version on my blog)

Africa Day is celebrated every year on 25th May. It marks the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on 25th May 1963. On this day, leaders of 30 of the 32 independent African states signed the founding charter of the OAU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In 2002 the OAU was formally replaced by the African Union (AU).

While the main objectives of the OAU were to rid the continent of the remaining vestiges of colonization and apartheid and to promote unity and solidarity among African States, the new African Union aimed for “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena”.

We can then conclude that the OAU has reached its main objectives by ensuring full political independence of the continent and contributing to eliminate apartheid in South Africa. Frankly speaking, the OAU was never about democracy or citizens’ participation. OAU was an organization of African leaders, the majority of which took the power by political struggle or by force.

During the Lomé Summit of the African Union in 2000, when the new Constitutive Act of the AU was adopted, as the Head of Civic Education Division of the Togo National “Radio Lomé”, I broadcasted a radio show titled “from the OAU of Heads of States to the AU of Citizens”. I can remember the excitement and the big hope of African Citizens to be part of a new continental organization that aims to pave the road for human security, prosperity, development etc. and play a role within it.

How are the African Union and its member states doing since the AU was put in place in 2002 to bring prosperity, peace security, democracy and human right in our continent? Are citizens genuinely given the chance to fully participate? Are we observing or implementing key principles that will secure a democratic Africa, respectful of human and people rights, and, unlock potential for development?   Are we managing responsibly our human and natural resources for the benefit of the continent and it people?

Today When I look at Burundi, DRC, Togo, Uganda, Congo, Sudan, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, Libya, Cameroun, Gambia… just to mention some, my question is the following: 15 years after the Lomé Declaration, did we really and genuinely move from the OAU to the AU? Or we are still turning around the OAU practices?

When I remember that 40,000 African citizens perished in the Mediterranean Sea over the last 15 years (2000 died since January 2015) trying to run away from the continent, I wonder if our leaders are really proud of themselves .

When I see the Burundian President playing football publically with his friends at a time more than 110,000 of his citizens including unaccompanied children are struggling in the mountains  to find refuge in neighboring countries, running away from persecution… and, when protest was going on, police shooting real bullets and opposition leaders being killed in the city… my question is: Is this the Africa we want for the 21st century?

34 out of the 54 African Countries as called “Least Developed Countries” within a very rich continent when at least 1 billion USD is illegally taken out of the continent every day trough illicit financial flows by multinationals with the conspiracy of their host countries and of course our own leadership.

Africa is said to possess over 90% of the world’s chrome resources, 85% of its platinum, 70% of its tantalite, 68% of its cobalt, 54% of its gold plus significant oil and gas reserves. The continent is also home to uranium, manganese, diamonds, phosphate and bauxite deposits in very high quantities. Timber and other forests resources add to the lure including massive underground water reserves discovered in some of the driest parts of the continent.

Overall, when I observe the silence and the hesitation of our regional and pan African institutions to speak out and take concrete actions, I feel terribly sad embarrassed and revolted….

Africa Day 2015 should be a moment of continental reflection…25th May is observed as a public holiday only in five African countries: Ghana, Mali, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It should be a Continental Reflection and Action Day.

The upcoming Heads of States AU Summit to be held in South Africa in a few weeks is an opportunity for the our Presidents to examine their responsibilities and take bold decisions

This year and the coming year (2016: Years of Human Rights) should be the years of a new revolution of African Citizens. Partners within the continent and around the world must strongly support active citizenship including actions to claim and obtain accountability from power holders and the implementation of our agreed Shared values. Without this, our Agenda 2063 will be an empty document and a pure lie for the future generation.

I strongly believe that if governance system is improved in the continent, the African Union and its regional communities start playing their role fully and genuinely by pressurizing national power holders according to the adopted principles, frameworks, treaties and conventions; if citizens including the youth are mobilized with solidarity to claim accountability… we will see a better continent in a few years…    

Disclaimer: My opinions are absolutely personal and do not engage my organization.

Financing for Development Debate @ African Union – Report.

Dear Friends

If you missed the Grand Debate on Financing for Development (FFD) on Tuesday, get the attached Press Statement/Report published by the African Union. You can also download it here:
http://ea.au.int/en/sites/default/files/PR%20128%20-%20Fridays%20of%20the%20Commission%20Debate%20stressed%20on%20a%20robust%20fair%20and%20equitable%20agreement%20during%20the%20July%202015%20Third%20Conference%20on%20Financing%20for%20.pdf 

  or 

http://ea.au.int/en/content/fridays-commission-towards-third-international-conference-financing-development 

How to Finance Africa Sustainable Development Post 2015?

Public Debate – Towards the Third Financing for Development Conference in July 2015 – Tuesday 19 May 2015 from 14:00  @ African Union Commission Headquarter

My Opening Remarks

**********

Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen, all protocol observed,

Thank you for joining this public debate co-hosted by the African Union Commission’s Department for Economic Affairs and Oxfam Liaison Office to the African Union

The Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) will take place on 13-16 July 2015, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

We expected the conference to be held at the highest possible political level, including Heads of State or Government, relevant ministers – ministers for finance, foreign affairs and development cooperation – and other special representatives.

This conference will set the scene for governments’ efforts to mobilize development finance to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set for the period 2016 – 2030.

Decisions of the  FfD must be bold, visionary, and lead to transformative change if today we are to create universal equitable and sustainable prosperity within planetary boundaries, and fulfil international human rights obligations for future generations.

FFD must build on the foundations of the previous FfD in 2002 in Mexico which is “to eradicate poverty, achieve sustained economic growth and promote sustainable development as we advance to a fully inclusive and equitable global economic system.”

The Third FFD Meeting will be then crucial to ending extreme poverty and tackling inequality everywhere. The conference will also lay the foundation for an agreement in September in New York on the new sustainable development goals, and for a binding climate-change agreement in December in Paris

The Financing for Development process come at a critical time, and must deliver on a number of issues for other crucial global agreements to bear fruit.

This conference will be the 3rd to be organized. The last one happened in Monterrey in Mexico in 2002.

The Addis Ababa event will have a different dimension compare to the previous FFD in Monterrey

  • Monterrey took place after agreement had been reached on the MDGs, while Addis will happen before formal the adoptions of the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Monterrey was focused on a government-to-government agreement but a larger number of stakeholders will be involved in Addis Ababa, including businesses, academics, civil society, scientists, and local authorities.

The conference should unlock finance from many different sources, including but not exclusively aid, to implement the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals.

Addis Ababa meeting will take place in the context of a slow global growth, in a world being devastated by conflicts and facing serious natural disasters and climate issues.

Agreements should have significant consequences for successful implementation of the SDGs at national, regional and global level.

Recommendations should be clearly actionable, with next steps in implementation that are easy to understand, easy to confirm and easy to tract.

There are other previous commitments already made which have not yet been met. There is a need for renewed efforts to meet these commitments; such commitments include meeting the target to provide 0.7% of Gross National Income in Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Given the high expectations placed on the FFD3 and the need to deliver tangible results, it is expected that the Addis Ababa Agreement mobilize international action around specific initiatives focusing on education, health, smallholder agriculture and nutrition, infrastructure etc.

The global scene and challenges have changed since the setting up of the MDGs.

We now have more scientific knowledge about climate change, rapidly growing tax evasion, unsustainable debt burdens, and the impact of trade agreements on domestic resource mobilization in developing countries.

Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have faced many of the greatest challenges in making progress toward the MDGs.

With limited trade and financial links to the rest of the world, LDCs have not gained substantial benefits from globalization, yet they are bearing many of the costs of global progress, such as climate change.

Since the FfD3 process began, lines seem to be drawn, between the global South and the global North.

The Group of 77 and China (G77) the African Group, the Least Developed Countries, Brazil, India, and other states and blocs consistently defend the right to development.

Developed countries including the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and others assert that all countries have to take responsibility.

FFD must result in finding resources for the upcoming SDGs: This must include both financial resources, non-financial measures including technology transfer and capacity building, as well as international systemic issues of finance, trade, tax etc.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Radical change is needed in the development finance architecture to make it fair and just…

For every $1 dollar developing countries gain from development partners, they lose around $2 dollars (especially in illicit financial flows and debt repayments).

Aid figures are minimized by outflows from corporate tax dodging and illicit flows, lending to developed countries, and profits to private investors.

To rebalance the terms of international financing, to ensure developing countries get their just and fair share, courageous decisions must be taken in Addis Ababa.

As a priority, governments must create a system that ensures multinational companies pay tax where the economic activity takes place and limit discretionary tax incentives so that the hundreds of billions in potential tax revenue credit governments’ budgets.  

 

A Few Questions to Ourselves:

How are we going to deal with Domestic Public Finance?

Are we seeing it as Primary source of development, or complement to aid?

How do we mobilize it, How do we manage it properly?

How do we ensure accountability and transparency on the use of our national resources in order to finance our development?

Who has the responsibility to track and stop Illicit Financial Flows?

What about those assets illegally taken from Africa mostly through practices of tax evasion, trade and services mispricing as well as transfer pricing abuses by transnational corporations?

How do we deal with the lost of  $50-$60 billion a year in illicit financial outflows from Africa. An amount that is more or less equal to the total foreign direct investment (FDI) and more than the total Development Assistance that the continent receives annually?

How do we respond to Domestic and International Private Business and Finance, being promoted by western partners?

Are the current rules of International Trade favourable for Sustainable Development?

Ladies and Gentlemen, these are some of the questions on the table…

Make sure your opinion and your voice are heard in this debate.

The outcome of this discussion will be compiled in a report to be widely disseminated.

How should Africa’s development be financed?

Colleagues & Friends: You are all invited tomorrow to join us physically of virtually on twitter. Please share this advisory widely!

*** Media advisory for Tuesday, May 19 2015***

How should Africa’s development be financed?

Grand Debate will build consensus on African priorities before FfD3

WHAT: Oxfam and the African Union, as part of the Fridays of the AU Commission regular meeting schedule, invite media to a public discussion on what should be African priorities at the UN Third Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3) scheduled less than eight weeks from now in Addis Ababa.

Discussants will include diplomatic representatives from AU member states and other continents, AUC, Pan-African institutions such as UNECA, African Development Bank (AfDB), Pan-African Parliament and Regional Economic Communities (RECs), multi-lateral and donor agencies, African civil society organizations (CSOs), international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), academia, and community-based organizations.

The July FfD3 negotiations by member states must define innovative ways of mobilizing resources to drive development while addressing extreme poverty, inequality and underdevelopment – the framework to finance the post-2015 sustainable development goals (SDGs). Proposals may include domestic resource mobilization and tax reform, new commitments to Official Development Assistance (ODA), global changes for debt and macroeconomic policies, climate change financing, the role of private sector finance in development, and monitoring mechanisms to ensure commitments are met.

Oxfam is organizing this event to encourage the mobilization of all constituencies towards FfD3.

WHO: Speakers who will be available to meet with and answer questions from the media are:

  • Mr. Charles Akelyira: Chief Executive Officer, the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority & Commissioner: Ghana National Development Planning CommissionFormer Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign for Africa
  • AUC Representative, presenting the results from the FFD African Regional Consultation 2015
  • Dr. Vanessa Inko-Dokubo, Oxfam Pan Africa Policy Advisor on Extractive Industries
  • Dr. Réné Kouassi, Director of Economic Affairs, African Union Commission
  • Mr. Desire Assogbavi, Head of Office, Oxfam International Liaison Office to the African Union (Moderator)

These speakers may be available at other times for interviews. Please contact us to arrange

WHEN: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 14:00 – 18:00 pm

WHERE: AU Commission Headquarters, New Builing, Addis Ababa http://ea.au.int/en/sites/default/files/announcement%20EN%20final_rev1.pdf

Please ask questions during the Debate online using #FFDdebate and follow @assodesire, @Oxfam_AU, @palabanapalms, @Octavio_diogo

Media Contact: Sue Rooks sue.rooks@oxfaminternational.org +1 917 224 0834

Why Should Africa Join the Arms Trade Treaty? – My Speech to African Ambassadors today

“African States and CSOs Consultation on the Arms Trade Treaty”

Why Should Africa Join the Arms Trade Treaty?

Opening Speech by Desire Assogbavi

Head of Oxfam International, Liaison Office to the African Union

Friday 15th May, 2014 – Radisson Blue Hotel, Addis Ababa

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Your Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen

Welcome and thank you for joining us today in this informal discussion on the ATT co-hosted by Oxfam and Control Arms with the Support of PAX

Arm violence is having a huge impact on our continent. The costs of this violence can be found not just in the many innocent people killed or injured by arms, but also in the impact on the society more broadly. It undermines economies, over-burdens healthcare systems, causes the displacement of entire communities and disrupt education for millions of children. Some of this violence is being perpetrated with an existing pool of weapons, fresh supplies of arms and ammunition, flood into Africa on an almost daily basis.

95% of the weapons being used in Africa’s conflicts are made outside the continent. Greater efforts must be made, to prevent the irresponsible transfer of weapons fuelling Africa’s conflicts and poverty… Today The universalization and the implementation of the  ATT is the solution.

A commentator noted that, bananas, tomatoes and bubble gum are more restricted in markets than the trade of AK-47. Africa should aim for a universal ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty, and for its robust implementation, through regional cooperation.

Although there are many continental and regional agreements on arms in Africa, the globalization of the arms trade will best be controlled through

the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that came into force in December 2014.

The ATT binds exporters and importers and put firm regulations on the global, regional and national circulation of arms to minimize the impact of conflicts.

The unregulated trade in arms aggravates poverty and undermines our development goals.

We believe that African nations can contribute to the effective regulation of arms through ratifying, acceding to and implementing the ATT. This will lead to more effective governance of arms and security forces, reduce corruption and arms diversion, and help prevent arms entering illegal markets.

In addition, such action will help build a global practice for the effective control of arms transfers, and force sceptic states like Russia, the US and China to comply with the ATT in order to continue sales to African ATT member States. Signing and Ratifying the ATT alone will not bring peace to Africa but it will build a voice against uncontrolled arms and limit the horrifying effects of conflicts.

Insecurity in connection to arms has been one of the prime concerns of the AU. The initiative and framework of Silencing the Guns by 2020, and its inclusion with the AU vision 2063,  illustrates a strong commitment to control flow and unauthorized use of arms in the continent.

Oxfam is keen to work with the AU on ensuring that Africa becomes a leader on arms control, not just within the continent but across the world.

Africa’s place in ATT global forums awaits to be maximised but this will not happen without joining the Treaty.

So today, we would like to:

  1. Update you on the Arms Trade Treaty process
  2. Discuss opportunities and challenges on the ratification and implementation of the ATT,
  3. Draw roadmap to the first Conference of State Parties of August 2015

African States played an important role in the negotiations and the adoption of the ATT. Our continent insisted on the inclusion of ammunition in the treaty and supported calls for strong provisions based around international human rights and humanitarian law. Many African states played a pioneering role in making the ATT happen. Notably, Africa lobbying of China was decisive in achieving the inclusion of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the categories of arms controlled under the treaty. Forty seven African States voted in favour of ATT at the UN General Assembly.

However, despite this level of support, Africa is currently under-represented amongst ratifying States, with 10 States only having ratified the Treaty as of April 2015. In the course of consultations, with your support, we identify the reasons behind the modest number of countries ratifying the ATT and use this information to develop strategies to match each particular situation to contribute to your efforts towards a safer Africa.

If Africa remains largely outside the Treaty, the voices of the states and the voices of the people will not be heard in the current negotiations of key issues in the framework of the Preparatory Committees.

I would like to share with you some figures reflecting the cost of conflicts in Africa

The Cost of Peace Keeping Operations in Africa

MINUSCA: CAR: annual approved budget (07/2014– 06/2015): $628,724,400

  • United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA): Approved budget: (07/2014– 06/2015): $830,701,700
  1. United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO): Approved budget (07/2014 – 06/2015): $1,398,475,300
  2. African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID): Approved budget (07/2014 – 06/2015): $1,153,611,300
  3. United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS): Approved budget(07/2014 –Approved budget (07/2014 – 06/2015): $493,570,300

I am sure you would agree with me that Africa must join the ATT.

I thank you.

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Burundi: The African Union Must Catch Up Quickly!

La version en Français ici: wp.me/p4ywYV-4J

The situation in Burundi is becoming more and more serious. Police is firing live ammunitions at protesters; armed militias are terrorizing citizens. 24,000 people have already fled the country, including mayors of some areas … At least 12 people have died dozens were seriously injured and over 600 arrested and detained in inhumane conditions…

Yesterday, the Vice President of the Constitutional Court of Burundi Sylvère Nimpagaritse denounced pressures and death threats on his person during the assessment of the constitutionality of 3rd term of the incumbent president. He then fled the country. During deliberations of the Court, while 4 out of 7 members thought the 3rd mandate is unconstitutional, the court deferred its decision. Thus, the death threats started by the government … It is now clear that this court is no more credible and none shall consider its decisions.

The African Union Must Catch up

In its communiqué of 28 April 2015, The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union has merely ” took note that the Burundian Senate has seized the Constitutional Court on the interpretation of the Constitution regarding the eligibility of President Pierre Nkurunziza’s candidature for re-election and urged all Burundian stakeholders to respect the decision of the Constitution”. The Chairperson of the AU Commission took the same position on her Twitter account a few days before… I had already found this position as weak and ineffective in view of the gravity of the situation on the ground, being aware of the strong influence of the political authorities on the State institutions. Limiting the solution of the Burundian problem to the decision of the current Constitutional Court is simply paving the way for a constitutional coup by the current authorities.  Everyone knows about this practice in many countries in our continent.

Given the gravity of the situation in Burundi, it is no longer enough to just ask the “stakeholders to respect the constitution and the Arusha Agreements.” The African Union must be clear and state that a 3rd term is purely against the constitution and the spirit of the Arusha Agreement.

I believe that the African Union has a certain influence on Burundi. In the past, the AU has led with success a peacekeeping operation in Burundi. The AU has invested its troops and resources in Burundi. Today, the African Union must avoid hesitation and be categorical. We can no more allow a new civil war in Burundi. Our continent has no mean to handle it. We already have too many problems to solve; too many challenges to face. The last civil war in Burundi killed 250,000 people.

Now that the Constitutional Court has no more credibility, the African Union and the PSC must seek advice of their legal bodies on the constitutionality of the 3rd term in Burundi in order to fix this issue once and for good. It is a historic responsibility. Yesterday our continental body missed similar opportunity in Burkina Faso until citizens ousted their dictator. Today a new opportunity shows up for the African Union to join the rest of the world and isolate President Nkurunziza.

The risk of a military coup in Burundi is very high right now. We should not get there. Africa must stop projecting the image of a continent with brutal methods. Political isolation of President Nkurunziza by the African Union will certainly force him to pull back…

The Peace and Security Council must meet urgently to denounce the interference of the Burundian authorities in the functioning of the Constitutional Court, dissociate itself from any decision of a court being ordered by the political power and declare the 3rd term unconstitutional and against the Arusha Agreements.

Note: My opinions are absolutely personal and do not commit my organization