(Tuesday, 10th November 2009 Issue)
It is incomprehensible that while the rest of the world is fighting tooth and nail in trying to contain the much-talk about financial crises hitting the world, the continent of Africa is one way or the other engaged in wars and conflict.
From Zimbabwe to Darfur in Sudan, Somalia to Guinea Conakry conflicts continued to rage unabated. Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's ally Roy Bennett went on trial accused of terrorism on Monday in a case that brew tensions in the unity government of Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF.
After initial arguments, the trial was adjourned to Wednesday by High Court Judge Muchineripi Bhunu to allow time to consider applications made by the State and Defence.
Bennett, whom Tsvangirai wants to bring into the government, was arrested in February and charged with illegally possessing arms to commit acts of terrorism, banditry and insurgency, charges that carry a possible death penalty. This, Tsvangirai indicated is politically motivated.
In Sudan, rebels from Darfur region on Monday threatened to attack any election officials that came into their territory, underlining the challenges facing the country's first multi-party poll in 24 years. The insurgent Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) gave its warning as team of officials started fanning out across Darfur and other parts of the oil-producing country to register voters for the delayed national elections, now due in April 2010. However, Sudan's Elections Commission said it had not received any information about the new threats. If such claims are carried out, it will not only derail the peace process in that trouble region, but hinder the democratisation process.
The people of Darfur and the entire African continent yearn for peace and nothing else. We have lost many of our love ones in that region and any action that can create another trouble must be urgently tackled.
Worst of all, is the recent incident in Guinea Conakry where the military opened fire at a group of demonstrators killing nearly over one hundred and fifty people.
While we appreciate the efforts made by the ECOWAS, AU and other international organisations, we pray that the parties involved in either of these conflicts will allow common sense to prevail so that their people can live in peace, progress and prosperity.