UN Security Council has a mixed record in Africa

Sunday September 29 2019

Members of the UN Security Council during a

Members of the UN Security Council during a meeting on non-proliferation of North Korea at United Nations on April 28, 2017 in New York City. PHOTO | EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ | AFP  

By PETER MUNAITA

In recent times, the UN Security Council has voted in favour of local solutions to African problems as was seen in the restraint to send a peacekeeping force to Anglophone Cameroon and enforce an arms embargo violation sanctions in Libya earlier this year.

The decision on Cameroon now appears inspired, with President Paul Biya having called for a national dialogue on Anglophone Cameroon for September 30, which United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has welcomed.

A similar process is underway in Mali: President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita told UNGA that a peace agreement signed in 2015 between the government and armed groups had progressively cultivated trust between the parties.

He said more than 2,500 ex-fighters were taking part in demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration under the watch of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali.

The ceasefire has helped legislate on a $72 million development zone in northern Mali, and allowed a third shot at national dialogue that President Keita said would bring lasting reconciliation and strengthen democracy.

However, Mali is facing a crisis in the middle of the country where terrorists and criminal gangs run amok.

Advertisement

Mr Guterres called for urgent mobilisation of support for countries in the Sahel that have, since 2012, grappled with instability from violent extremism, political turmoil and resource wars.

He said the G-5 Sahel force comprising Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger troops fighting jihadists and criminal gangs faced logistical constraints as $2.3 billion pledged by the global community in December is yet to be disbursed.

In Libya, however, UN inaction grieves Fayez al-Sarraj, the Prime Minister of the country’s internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), who accused the UAE, France and Egypt of backing military strongman Khalifa Haftar.

“Other countries continue to interfere” in Libya, he said at UNGA, not mentioning the support that GNA enjoys from Turkey and Qatar.

Gen Haftar has sustained an offensive on Tripoli since April, with his Libyan National Army, also backed by the US and Russia.