African solutions to African problems
Last week, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan succeeded in getting the Kenyan Government and Kenyan Opposition to sign a deal ending months of violence after disputed elections late last year.
It is a power sharing arrangement which both parties have agreed to, so hopefully Kenya, one of the most stable post independence African countries would be pulled back from the brink – just in time!
Kofi Annan's insistent and persistent diplomacy paid off and this very African problem was solved by an African conflict resolution initiative. What this means is that we can solve our own problems if we want to. The Kenyan solution must be studied and used as template for other trouble spots.
We do recall that African initiatives played a considerable role in bringing the warring sides in Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire to see reason. Now Darfur seems intractable, the international community is exhibiting peacekeeping fatigue and the African Union is hamstrung due to lack of resources.
Taking a cue from the Kenyan solution, isn't it about time that “insistent and persistent diplomacy”, not threats and intimidation, was brought to bear in Darfur? We are not merely getting carried away by the sweet smell of success coming from Kenya, but former Mozambican President Joachim Chissano, has also had some successes negotiating between the LRA and Ugandan government.
Our own President, John Agyekum Kufuor played a considerable part in getting the warring factions in Liberia to see reason. In other words, we can do it. Who knows, Al Bashir and the “rebels” in Darfur may just listen if Kofi Annan's insistent and persistent diplomacy is unleashed there…
Our last word on this is that the Kenyans MUST make it work.