UN: Weak states aggravate instability in Africa

A UN adviser noted that “internal factors” such as corruption, poverty, inequalities or even respect for human rights interact with “external factors” of instability, such as competition for natural resources, criminality transnational corporations and the proliferation of illicit weapons, to weaken the African continent.

During a debate dedicated to peace and security in Africa, the Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for Africa, Cristina Duarte, affirmed before the members of the UN Council.

In this sense, she considered it “important” to take these internal factors into account for the achievement of lasting peace on the continent.

The Special Adviser also reported that Covid-19 has further reduced already limited fiscal space in African countries, as the health emergency has sometimes led to the neglect of certain public services. “A necessary decision, but which can have unforeseen and undesired consequences in the medium term,” she said.

Corruption “delegitimizes state action”

Cristina Duarte also highlighted corruption, which not only diverts funds intended for the provision of services, but “delegitimizes the action of the State”. Corruption is not just an ethical or legal issue, it is globally the result of the absence of the state and lack of capacity, she pointed out.

To these factors is sometimes added the pure and simple absence of the State in certain territories, which is replaced by non-State actors, including criminal and terrorist groups, as illustrated by the case of Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

For his part, Bankole Adeoye, Commissioner of the African Union (AU) for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, stressed that the AU was trying to learn lessons from conflict situations in which some of its Member States had foundered, due to the absence of the rule of law and weak socio-economic prospects.

On this last point, he noted that unemployed young people in particular were tempted by violent extremism and the choice of separatism, thus fueling the fragility of the social fabric and conflicts.

In encouraging news, African countries are increasingly interested in collaborating with the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) to expand and strengthen their peacebuilding and peacekeeping capacities. peace, announced its President, Muhammad Abdul Muhith.

He shared the commitments made by the PCC in Africa in the area of ​​capacity building, particularly in the Central African Republic (CAR) where the Commission has mobilized resources and addressed the impact of budgetary constraints for the country’s Special Criminal Court and the Truth, Justice, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission.

In Liberia, the President commended efforts within political parties to ensure increased representation of women in party leadership and higher participation in elections, as well as the role played by refugee women in strengthening social cohesion at community level.

Ways to build capacity in Africa

The Under-Secretary-General called for building institutions and developing capacities for the delivery of public services, and for tackling illicit financial flows.

She explained that curbing them would generate the same amount of revenue as official development assistance (ODA) and foreign direct investment (FDI) combined.

Building political and institutional capacity must also be a priority for Cristina Duarte, who found that in many countries, peacekeeping missions were in areas where the state was absent.

“In this context, enhanced cooperation with national and local authorities, not only from a security perspective but also from an institution-building perspective, could create opportunities to increase state presence and improve service delivery” , she noted again.


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