Sep 8, 2009, 7:42 AM
The Gambia government’s pledge of US$1 million at the donor’s conference on Mali as contribution to the efforts of the African Union, to facilitate the deployment of the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (Afisma) and assist the Malian defence and security forces, is indeed timely and commendable.
The appalling situation in the north of Mali, key among them the perennial instability, lack of security and the countless loss of valuable properties and even the loss of lives in the name of Sharia law, needs urgent action to save millions of lives.
We see the move as essential in the promotion of peace and security in the sub-region and the continent, in particular.
Peace and security is fundamental in any democratic state, and it is important for everybody whether African or whatever to cherish peace and stability at all times.
Today, Africa is confronted with lots of unsettled conflicts, and this has clearly shown that the continent still has a long way to go in achieving peace and security.
Despite the fact that remarkable strides have been made in democratic governance, there are still challenges with respect to peace and security all over Africa.
The continent continues to stifle movement toward progress in democratic development.
It is now high time for the African Union (AU) and other international bodies to address the issue of peace and security at the highest political level, hence the timely intervention by the Gambian government.
Finding lasting peace and stability in northern Mali is as finding peace across the continent because of the growing threats posed by the Islamists, who since last year occupied parts of the country.
The issues we are faced with as a continent should not only be discussed at international meetings, and it stops there; but necessary action must be taken by African governments in order to bring peace and stability in the various states in our continent.
The call for peace and security anywhere around the world is, indeed, timely especially now that we have the conflict in Mali, the political turmoil in Egypt and other problems across the continent.
For Africa to have peace and security, African Union member states should come together to address their individual problems first, and try to solve their differences at the continental level.
We should take urgent measures to save the lives of Malians, especially women and children.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”