AU leader prioritizes peace in his 4-month tours


Moussa Faki Mahamat, the new African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson has so far spent his time, since his inauguration in January, to visit war affected zones in the continent. He has therefore made unprecedented record with this peace tours most especially to South Sudan. Unlike his immediate predecessor, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma who paid deafening ears to burning crises in the continent, Mahamat has been touring fearlessly war-torn areas with determination to end inter and intra wars and conflicts in the continent.

Apart from his home country, Chad, Mahamat in company of the AUC Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui has so far visited war zone countries like Somalia, South Sudan, Rwanda, Mali and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Exactly four days after his inauguration in January, Mahamat left for Somalia where he met with newly elected President Mohamed Abdullahi ‘Farmajo’ Mohamed. The African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) has been in the country for about a decade with a single mission of annihilating the insurgency caused by Al-Shabaab. Shortly afterward, precisely on the 26th of March 2017, he visited the capital city of Kenya, Nairobi, to discuss about the condition of Somali refugees at a summit organized by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

And on the 27th of the same month, he jetted out of Kenya to South Sudan where civil war records of disastrous damages have been the order of the day since December 2013. According to UN reports, over 5.8 million South Sudanese require food aid – as serious famine has found dwelling corners in the country. In addition to this, the UN has also warned that genocide could occur in South Sudan if no solution is found soon as horrific ethnic cleansing is becoming a daily routine in some parts of the country.

On the 8th of April, Mahamat went on with his tour to join Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame in Kigali purposely to commemorate the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the year that claimed millions of lives of innocent citizens of Rwanda.

AUC was primarily set up to intervene in crises on the continent and prevent things from accelerating to such an extent that lives are threatened on a massive scale. And so far to achieve this mission, the Commission has been working hand in hand with regional intergovernmental institutions like ECOWAS, Sahel G5 and the likes. And this has yielded numerous positive outcome. A very recent mission almost accomplished is the case of Boko haram in the Western region of the continent – the insurgency is now almost on the verge of total collapse. Kudos to the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) set up by ECOWAS in consultation with AUC to battle against the insurgency.

However, the huge organizational challenges faced by AU as a result of lack of cooperation from some representatives of the 55 member states is one of the major problems slow pacing significant impact of AU in the continent. The implementation of the new reforms made at the AU, adopted by heads of state at their 28th summit in January is the main task to be tackled by Mahamat and his team. In addition, finance has also been the cause of the inefficiency of AU since its inception – in fact, sometimes some of their operations are funded by outside institutions like UN and EU. This is how pathetic the financial condition of the institution is.

With these and other challenges, it is therefore obvious that Mahamat with his team has huge challenges to tackle in order to accomplish his peace mission before the end of his tenure as the chairman of the commission.

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