AFRICANGLOBE – President Mugabe yesterday said that Western countries have no business sending peace keeping forces to Africa when the continent has its own structures for that purpose that only need funding.
He said the foreign troops often inflamed the conflicts under the disguise of peace keeping and end up unilaterally removing elected governments.
The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces was speaking during his presentation in the peace and security plenary session at the ongoing Fifth Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD) here.
He said foreigners intervened in developing countries pretending to be peacekeepers when they had a neo-colonial agenda.
“There is another equally compelling aspect of the peace and stability debate on our continent,” said President Mugabe.
“Over many years, Africa has painstakingly constructed its own peace and security architecture with early warning training and standby military structures both at sub regional and continental levels.
“Although still underfunded and under equipped, these structures have served the continent well, helping to diffuse tensions where these have arisen and helping to contain conflicts in those areas where sadly hostilities have occurred.”
President Mugabe said in spite of the available peace and security structures, Africa had many conflicts fuelled by the “global bullies who then manipulate the whole continent for selfish interests”.
He said no country had a right to abuse its power through military intervention.
President Mugabe said Africa could not accept that foreign troops had the responsibility of peace and stability on the continent.
The foreign troops, he said, should not use the instability of the continent as a justification for their intervention.
President Mugabe welcomed the fact that the TICAD outcome document, especially the action plan, emphasised the need for partners to align themselves more closely and to provide more support for the African Union’s African Peace and Security architecture. He said any debate on peace and stability in Africa could not be separated from the urgent need for a comprehensive reform of the United Nations system, especially the UN Security Council.
“Up to 70 percent of business of the UN Peace and Security Council concerns the African continent, but no African nation yet enjoys permanent membership,” said President Mugabe.
“This anomaly increasingly incompatible with today’s rapidly evolving global power and influence architecture cannot be sustained.
“Africa is ready and willing to play its full part in the safeguarding of global peace and stability. I am aware that Prime Minster (Shinzo) Abe (of Japan) will hold discussions with the committee of 10 African leaders mandated by the AU to negotiate reform of the UNSC.
“My hope will be that from those discussions, a very strong message of the urgency of the UNSC reform and the urgency of African permanent membership as a full partner on the basis of the Ezulwini and Sirte consensus will be conveyed to those nations which continue to prevaricate and which continue to view Africa as somehow less than themselves and less than their equals.”
Foreign troops have of late intervened in several African countries with disastrous consequences that resulted in bloodshed and the removal of democratically elected governments.
By: Lovemore Chikova