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Silencing the Gun - AU PSC 14 june17 Desire Assogbavi

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Presentation given at the Peace and Security Council of the African Union on the AU Master Roadmap on Silencing the Guns by 2020 -

Published in: Law

Silencing the Gun - AU PSC 14 june17 Desire Assogbavi

  1. 1. Silencing the guns in Africa by 2020 & Beyond how to get there? Désiré Assogbavi Resident Rep. & Head of Office Oxfam Liaison Office to the African Union Peace & Security Council 14 June 2017
  2. 2. Sources of Conflicts in Africa Inequality within the society @ 3 levels : Political, Economic & Social (Mostly with predominant ethnical connotation)  Extreme and wide-spread Poverty  Democracy challenges: Political exclusion, and unlimited term on power, Pressure on the opposition, the media, Electoral fraud  Gross violation of Human Rights  Proliferation of Arms  Fragility of the states … manifested by: Systematic Corruption at all level of power encouraged by impunity  Illicit Financial Flows most of the time in Conspiration with power holders encouraged by Uncontrolled exploitation of Natural Resources Page 2
  3. 3. The Master Roadmap for Silencing the Guns by 2020  The roadmap rightly identified the challenges  It also proposed pertinent and useful steps … mechanisms But, for this type of exercise & for such an ambitious goal to be reached in 3 years…  The Master Roadmap seems too generic… It needs to set targeted priorities for active & intense conflicts with benchmarks & timeframes.  At the same time, we need to work on volatile situations & potential conflicts… My Presentation will propose:  Complementary Contributions on Priority Actions  Some Additional Modalities for Mobilizing & Actions  Some Important additional Steps and Missing Elements Page 3
  4. 4. Do we Have the Conditions for Silencing the Guns Now? No! … But… We have tools….: Progressive standards, instruments, treaties, decisions, declarations… We have a number of institutions at various levels but we need to revisit their roles as well as their coordination Some much-needed institutions are on our wish list but are still missing in the reality (justice) Some actions are taken but… only to tick the box: without any serious impact (election observation).. We need games change … Page 4
  5. 5. CHALLENGES… & PRACTICAL STEPS Page 5
  6. 6. Persistence of Denials in Situations of Brewing/Potential Crises Deficits in enhancing and deepening democracy, respect of human dignity, human rights and good governance Expose them? How?
  7. 7.  We Need an independent institutional monitoring of the state of democracy and human rights in Africa… A Task Force of a Eminent Personalities on Silencing the Gun --- Must be able to publish their periodic report without conditions or pre-approval – It should build on existing mechanisms (AGA, APRM, ACHPR, Panel of the wise, APSA) – Also tasked to monitor this Roadmap for the 3 years.  Gross Failure to democracy, basic human rights standards & shared values be recognized and regarded as Acts of Sabotage of the Agenda 2063, our common aspirations… & practically & effectively sanctioned.  Election Observations by the AU must have objectives different from just ticking the box. Here, the AU is engaging its credibility vis as vis our citizens… If all elections are declared free & fair …then there is a serious credibility or methodology problem with the observations… Detailed observation report to be public. Page 7
  8. 8. Page 8
  9. 9. Cont... Electoral fraud is serious enough to be formally considered and declared by the Union as an element of unconstitutional change of government and a denial of our shared values with all consequences Behaviors such as imprisonment of opposition leaders for political reasons create conditions for social unrest … leading to more conflicts… The Union must stand against it immediately as a common policy A comprehensive sanction regime must be tabled and adopted quickly including sanctions for non compliance of democracy, HR and governance principles… Page 9
  10. 10. Cont2...  Unlimited Presidential Terms: It is time to table it for discussion now! - Having free & fair elections is still a struggle in many countries - It will be difficult to avoid Burkina Faso and Burundi scenarios - In some situations a coup seem to be the only solution - ECOWAS nearly achieved it (May 2015)  Citizens' Participations, Civic Space & Freedom of Expression: since 2009 at least 29 Law anti-CSOs have been enacted in Africa. The Assembly to declare a moratorium on any new law and commission a review of existing CSOs law in relation with AU shared values instruments  A Multi - Stakeholder Platform for Silencing the Gun?: To include non-state actors… It should be a collective responsibility ! Page 10
  11. 11. UNCONTROLLED ARMS?
  12. 12. Page 12
  13. 13. Let’s Make Guns are Unavailable and Unattractive  Today Bananas and tomatoes are more restricted in markets than the trade of AK-47. We must universally ratify the Global Arms Trade Treaty, and for its robust implementation… but also the 4 sub-regional mechanisms. So far only 21 African countries have join the ATT  Joining the ATT will also help to monitor inflow of arms in Africa  The guns are mostly carried by desperate & vulnerable youth who, most of the time, have nothing else to lose. They are in Somalia, South Sudan, Darfur, CAR, DRC, Nigeria, Mali etc… Silencing the guns should also imply give job & hope to the youth.  There is a strong link between youth unemployment & their involvement with armed groups Page 13
  14. 14. REC’s Agreements for Arms Control Regional Agreements on Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons SADC Protocol on Control of Fire Arms, Ammunitions and other Related Materials (2001) Nairobi Protocol on the Control, Prevention, and Reduction of SALW in the GLR the HoA and Bordering States (2004) The ECWAS Convention on SALW, their Ammunitions and Related Material (2006) Central African Convention on Control of SALW …..Kinshasa Convention (2010) Regional frameworks are not enough to silence the guns due to the global connections of the arms trade
  15. 15. About our Institutions
  16. 16.  Peace & Security Council: It unetical & inappropriate to contimue allowing countries in conflicts to seat in or chair the Peace and Security Council. It is a matter of credibility... Rules of procedure must be amended.  Accountability for Crimes: Currently there is no justice & accountability mechanism for the heinous crimes being committed on our people by our people. In 20 years, only 30 African States ratified the protocol establishing the African Court of HR. We need a decision and action on this. All AU Members should join this protocol without delay.  The Amended Protocol giving criminal jurisdiction to the Court has not been ratified by any African state, 2 years after its adoption in Malabo. - So, There is nothing that criminals & potential criminals will fear now in Africa. So, Why is Africa is in the hurry withdraw from the ICC in mass ?  There is an opportunity now to work together to improve what is not going well at the ICC, having now African leadership…  Civil Society = ECOSOCC?: Because of the institutional restriction, Need for an Advisory Body of the wider Civil Society Page 16
  17. 17. Without Justice and Accountability, People will Loose their Trust in Everything Except for the Guns
  18. 18. Page 18
  19. 19. Some Material Available Report: The Human Cost of Uncontrolled Arms in Africa: Cross-national research on seven African countries Documentary on violence against women in Central Africa Republic’s conflict. Report: “From Aspiration to Reality”: Unpacking the African Mining Vision Page 19
  20. 20. Thanks ! Emails: Desire.Assogbavi@Oxfam.org Assogbavi@me.com Twitter: @assodesire Blog: www.assodesire.com Tel.: +251 911208332

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