MPs Back Standby Force For Africa
Members of the Pan African Parliament have supported the idea of establishing a standby force with a rapid deployment capability to contain outbreaks of conflict on the continent.The MPs meeting for the Second Session of the Third Pan African Parliament in Midrand, South Africa , said it was embarrassing that Africa has to refer their conflicts to its former colonizers for solutions.
The Chairperson of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, H.E Arcano Maria do Nascimento, said in a report on peace and security in Africa that an African standby force “is of critical importance to Africa’s peace efforts.”According to a brief by the Ugandan Parliament, Nascimento said a Specialised Technical Committee on Defence, Safety and Security involving African Chiefs of Defence staff and Ministers of Defence meeting in Addis Ababa at the end of April had also backed the proposal to have the standby force.The report by the Ambassador covered the situations in Mali, Central African Republic, Great Lakes Region, Somalia, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Western Sahara and Ethiopia/Eritrea.
Representatives from Sudan said Africa should learn from their conflict with South Sudan, which was largely solved without help from western powers.Hon. Elamin Dafalla Gasm (Sudan) said there were similarities in the causes of conflict in the different parts of Africa, and that in most parts, politicians “reject the transfer of power through smooth elections.”Hon. Onyango Kakoba (Uganda) said Somalia still poses a threat of terrorism in the region. He appealed to African countries that promised to send troops to the troubled country to fulfill their pledges, as the African Union (AU) forces gains more ground in the country.
Hon. Joseph NJOBVUYALEMA (Malawi) however faulted the committees for relying on second hand information and not getting to the ground while writing their reports. He was also unhappy that the prevailing conflicts will prevent African countries from attaining the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.Uganda’s other representatives to PAP are Hon. Cecilia Atim Ogwal; Hon. Sam Amooti Otada (Kibanda), Hon. Jacqueline Amongin (Ngora) and Hon. Beatrice Barumba (Kiruhura district).